The Latest: Walmart closing more than 60 Sam's Club stores


Walmart announced Thursday it is closing 63 Sam's Club stores across the United States, leaving workers at the membership club without jobs.

According to the Village of Romeoville, the club will work with employees on relocation, and displaced employees can contact the Workforce Development Services of Will County at 815-727-4444.

At least eight stores closed abruptly on Thursday and the rest would shutter in the coming weeks, the official said.

"We don't take this lightly and decisions like these are incredibly difficult", said Amy Wyatt-Moore, a spokesperson for Walmart, said in an email to the Journal.

This all happened on the same day the Sam's Club parent company, Walmart, announced it was raising its starting wage and giving bonuses to employees. An employee of the Goshen Sam's Club said employees are unable to offer comment.

The company said the pay raise would come at a cost of about $300 million this year and the cost of the one-time bonus would be about $700 million.

In 2016, the company raised its minimum hourly wage to $9 an hour with an additional increase to $10 after eligible employees complete an internal training program. 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. President Donald Trump cheered the announcement with a tweet, saying, "Great news, as a result of our TAX CUTS & JOBS ACT!"

The new tax plan lowered corporate tax rates for several large companies. There are roughly 150 employees at each location that is set to be closed.

The retailer sells groceries and other regular department store offerings, as well as unusual items such as kayaks, mattresses, swimming pools and whirlpool spas.

The federal minimum hourly wage has been $7.25 since 2009.

Walmart shuttered Sam's Club locations throughout the country Thursday. Walmart announced years ago that it would actively manage its store portfolio as it strives to put a dent in Amazon's dominance online. The Robesonian was also told that the store would have abbreviated hours until Jan. 26. The tax rate for Walmart dropped from 35% to 21%.

"You're just seeing so much change in retail right now". Its sales rose 4.4% to $14.86 billion.

"Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc".