Walmart Inc. plans to repurpose some of the Sam's Clubs stores that will close later this month, making them fulfillment centers for e-commerce. Delia Garcia, a Walmart spokeswoman, confirmed that all of those locations will have their last day of operations January 26.
Walmart, which owns Sam's Club, did not respond to numerous requests for comment.
"We know this is hard news for our associates and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations", Sam's Club CEO John Furner said.
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The Union County Freeholder Board also announced Thursday afternoon that its social service and re-employment agencies are "offering assistance to any Union County resident who was laid off by today's Sam's Club Store closings".
At Sam's Club, digital sales are up 27 percent in the first half of the 2018 fiscal year. Others received a FedEx letter that contained information about the store closure.
Walmart had earlier cited tax legislation that will save it money in announcing the higher hourly wages, one-time bonuses and expanded parental benefits that will affect more than a million hourly workers in the U.S.
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During an October meeting, Sam's Club CEO John Furner said the retailer needed to improve its competitive position. "After a thorough review, it became clear we had built clubs in some locations that impacted other clubs, and where population had not grown as anticipated".
"There were a few locations where we felt there was no easy way to keep them open", he said, adding that some of the stores will remain open for a few weeks.
The company will look at opportunities to transfer Sam's Club employees to Walmart locations in Alaska, Garcia said.
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A statement on the official Sam's Club Twitter account reads, "After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we've made a decision to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy". But right now, she has just three.