Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Sam's Club To Close 63 Locations

Sam's Club To Close 63 Locations

Many people aren't feeling so much part of the "club" anymore after Sam's Club closed multiple locations with little to no advance notice.

The world's largest private employer said it was closing 63 of its 660 Sam's Clubs - including Morrisville and another location in Lumberton - during the next weeks, with some shut already.

Billings has a Sam's Club at 4420 King Ave. E. Employees at the Morrisville location reached out to ABC11 to say they showed up to a closed store today and that in two-weeks it will be closed permanently.

The news of the sudden closures comes as the big-box retailer's parent company - Walmart - announced it would use savings from new tax legislation to raise starting wages for its employees. Walmart said it is raising its starting wages for hourly employees to $11, and also offering other employees a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000, Business Insider reports.

Sam's Club tweeted that after a thorough review of its existing portfolio, the company has made a decision to close a number of stores to "better align out locations with our strategy".

Walmart previously raised its minimum pay for most employees to $10 an hour in 2015.

"I think they did help people, help the community, help the employees, and help their families", said Matthew Sammons, a Walmart employee in Wilmington of 10 years.

Image Zoom
Image Zoom

All the new changes will take effect in February, and will affect more than one million Walmart employees across the United States, according to the company, Business Insider reports.

They added that it's never easy to close stores and they'll be working with those impacted.

The new wage and bonuses were because of the new Republican tax law. The adoption benefit of $5,000 would apply to both full-time hourly and salaried workers and could be used for expenses such as adoption agency fees, translation fees and legal or court costs.

Before the change announced Thursday, it said, "full-time hourly workers were eligible for six to eight weeks of maternity leave at 50 percent pay, and Wal-Mart did not offer any parental leave for full-time hourly workers".

Only employees with 20 or more years of Walmart employment will get the full $1,000.

McMillon also said the company is "early in the stages of assessing the opportunities" that tax reform creates for Walmart.

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