Bulk membership chain Sam's Club abruptly closed some locations across the country Thursday, including, apparently, two in the Tampa and Orlando areas.
- Sam's Club quietly closed 63 stores nationwide
- A store in Casselberry and a store in Tampa were closed Thursday
- Sam's Club owner Walmart announced wage hikes on same day
Workers and customers alike reported finding out about the store closures when they visited the locations.
We called both stores and heard a voice message telling us the stores were now closed and that they would reopen "tomorrow."
Walmart issued a news release Thursday, saying the company closed the stores around the country after a thorough performance review, which is what it tweeted to concerned members on the Sam's Club Twitter account Thursday:
After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we’ve decided to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy. Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.— Sam's Club (@SamsClub) January 11, 2018
Walmart said it will convert up to 12 of the closed stores into eCommerce fulfillment centers to help speed online orders. The first of these new centers will be in Memphis, Tenn.
No word on whether the Fern Park or Tampa locations will be part of this conversion.
Walmart says it will support those associates affected by the closures with 60 days of pay and a bonus, plus a severance for those who are eligible.
Walmart, the company that owns Sam's Club, announced Thursday that is was raising starting pay for hourly workers, handing out cash bonuses and expanding some benefits for Walmart store and Sam's Club workers.
This sign was posted Thursday at the Sam's Club on S. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. (Laurie Davison, staff)
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.