Nothing to See Here: Walmart Touts Wage Hike While Sam's Club Quietly Closes Several Locations
BENTONVILLE, Arkansas — The same day Walmart announced they were raising starting wages for all hourly workers, Sam's Club abruptly closed the doors on several stores nationwide, including one in New Hampshire.
Excited to share some news today! We’re raising our starting wage for all hourly associates in the U.S., expanding benefits & offering a one-time bonus! ? Learn more from CEO Doug McMillon: https://t.co/vgBJ1KRLB6 pic.twitter.com/pPEdZCYSr1— Walmart (@Walmart) January 11, 2018
Walmart, the parent company of Sam's Club, confirmed to Business Insider the closure of more than 60 of their stores nationwide.
In a letter to employees dated January 11, 2018, Doug McMillion, Walmart's CEO, made no mention of the stores closing only saying they have "really good news to share today" referencing an increase in starting wages at Walmart from $9 to $11 an hour. They are also offering a one-time bonus and expanding maternity to 10 weeks, with full pay for full-time employees as well as six weeks paid paternal leave for full-time spouses. The expanded parental leave would also apply to adoptive parents and the company says they would contribute $5,000 to the cost of adoption.
McMillion attributes these expanded benefits to the new, lower business tax rate approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, more than 60 Sam's Club stores have closed or are closing within the next month or so in an effort to "better align our locations with our strategy," according to a Tweet by the box store.
Business Insider is reporting several stores will close over the next several weeks, including Seabrook, New Hampshire. At least 10 of the 63 stores closed today and will not reopen, leaving employees blindsided and without a job. Some of the stores slated to close will reopen for the next few weeks before closing permanently.
Several people have asked Sam's Club on Twitter how they can find out if their store is closing. Sam's Club is responding with a link to stores that are opened. The Seabrook, New Hampshire, store is not on that list.
Seabrook NH is closing the Sam's Club Jan 26th #WTF pic.twitter.com/czBTRbiQvn
— MedicCole (@mediccole) January 11, 2018
The company has said online they will refund membership fees to those who recently signed up or renewed their membership.
NH1 has reached out to Sam's Club media relations department but has not yet received a reply. We will update this story as more information becomes available.