Sam's Club employees, customers shocked over sudden closing

The south Lansing Sam's Club location will be back open for a little while... FOX 47 News

In a statement issued Thursday, parent company Walmart said it would shutter 63 Sam's Clubs around the USA, and would convert 12 of them to online order fulfillment centers.

The news came as a surprise for the people who worked in some of those stores because a lot of them walked into a sign announcing the closure, instead of their jobs.

Business Insider created a master list of stores set to be closed-with information gathered from Sam's Club employees, not Sam's Club corporate representatives-and it includes four locations in Arizona, three in Florida, four in NY, and four in Texas. The closure was described as abrupt, and some employees reportedly did not know it was coming. Anyone who wants to cancel and request a refund because of a store closure or any other reason must call Sam's Club customer service (888-746-7726), Business Insider reported.

BJ's has received numerous inquiries from Sam's Club employees.

A manager at the Winterville store, who identified himself only as "Mike" said the store was open Thursday, but he would not confirm its status beyond that, instead referring questions to Walmart corporate headquarters.

"We know this is hard news for our associates and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations", John Furner, president and CEO of Sam's Club, said in the statement. "Closing clubs is never easy and we're committed to working with impacted members and associates through the transition".

The south Lansing Sam's Club location will be back open for a little while... FOX 47 News
The south Lansing Sam's Club location will be back open for a little while... FOX 47 News

The decision leaves the Triangle with only three Sam's Clubs to choose from - west Durham, north Raleigh and a Raleigh location south of downtown.

Garcia added that employees will be paid for 60 days from January 11, even though the club closes on January 26.

But it wasn't all good news for Walmart employees.

The closures came the same day that Walmart said it would lift the hourly minimum wage in the U.S.to $11 and giving out bonuses of up to $1,000. These include: financial assistance for full-time employees who are looking to adopt children, 10 weeks of paid maternity leave or six weeks paid paternity leave for full-time hourly employees, and six weeks paid paternity leave for salaried employees. The amount, between $200 and $1,000, depends on how long they worked at the company.

"Can I live without (Sam's Club)?".

Sam's Club CEO John Furner notified employees of the closures in a companywide email sent Thursday. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide.

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