Sam's Club in Orange to close

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The silence about the store closures felt awfully discordant with the trumpets Walmart had blared earlier Thursday about its decision to hike its minimum wage to $11 across its US business and dole out one-time bonuses to some workers.

Audio will be available later today. "Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the USA", the company said. The Moline store on 44th Avenue is on the list of stores that will be closed.

On Thursday-the same day that Walmart heralded its newly increased minimum wage-the company dealt a surprising blow to to the popular Costco-like warehouse club it owns.

Walmart, which reported annual revenue of almost $486 billion in the most recent fiscal year, said the wage increases will cost it an additional $300 million in the next fiscal year.

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Walmart shuttered Sam's Club locations throughout the country Thursday.

One employee, who wished not to be identified, said workers were told Thursday morning that the store would close for a day before reopening with discounted items for two weeks.

At the time, Target's move prompted some observers to predict Walmart would react immediately.

Although Walmart linked the moves to the tax cuts, it faces increased competition for the most qualified workers as the labor market tightens.

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The company also plans to pay $2,000 bonuses this spring to about 60,000 hourly and salaried US employees.

On Thursday, Walmart made a huge announcement that will positively affect many of their current and future employees: the starting wage rate will be $11/hour across the country. But most employees are expected to get a few hundred dollars. In 2015, Walmart raised its minimum hourly wage to $9, and in 2016 to $10 for workers who complete a training course.

The retailer announced in a news release that because of the money saved through the recently-passed tax reform, eligible full and part-time hourly associates will receive a one-time cash bonus based on years of service.

Walmart's new pay hike, purportedly inspired by the recent cut in the USA corporate tax rate, is a little less than real largesse. A full-time salary of $11 an hour amounts to about $19,000 a year, which is below the national poverty level of $20,420 for a family of three. "I used to get gas here". The payouts, which should total roughly $400 million, will result in a one-time charge that the company will take in its fiscal fourth quarter. Those workers previously received up to eight weeks of maternity leave at half-pay, and were not entitled to parental leave. For 2016, the company reported $485.87 billion in annual revenue on profits of $13.64 billion.

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