Walmart (WMT) is closing hundreds of Sam’s Club stores nationwide, according to numerous media reports.
Jessica Buckner, an audit team lead at a Sam’s Club location in Anchorage, told local TV station KTVA that all Alaska stores are closing as part of a larger downsizing across the U.S. “From what I heard, there’s over 260 stores that have been closed down,” she said.
The wholesale clubs’ official closure date is Jan. 26, Buckner said.
The closures also affect stores in New Jersey, upstate New York, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. In some locations, per social media, people showed up to work only to be told that their location was closing, with nearly no advance notice.
Sam’s Club shutdown? Employees at this S Loop store tell me they showed up to work and were told store is closed effective today. Sign on door says same thing. Hearing other stores also affected. Waiting on answers from parent company, Walmart #khou11 pic.twitter.com/RtbY7EhiIK
— Jason Miles (@JMilesKHOU) January 11, 2018
Sam’s Club did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The chain, which competes with Costco (COST), has more than 650 locations employing more than 100,000 people, with an average of 175 employees per store, according to the company.
No formal announcement had been posted Thursday morning by Sam’s Club, but the company acknowledged the closures on Twitter with a general statement.
The company drew criticism from people on Twitter who objected to the lack of notice about the closings.
My problem isn't with you closing stores. It's closing stores without telling the employees. How would you, as a social media rep, like to come in to work tomorrow and find out you were fired?
— YourMCAdmin (@YourMCAdmin) January 11, 2018
The closures come on the same day that Walmart announced it was raising its minimum wage to $11 per hour.
Same day Walmart raises worker wage to $11 "due to tax bill", Sam's Club announces 419 Hoosier workers are losing their jobs.
— Stephen Terrell (@StephenTerrell) January 11, 2018