One minute, Walmart is announcing a higher starting wage for employees at Walmart and Sam’s Club — $11 an hour, starting in February. The next minute, Sam’s Club, a division of Walmart, is announcing the closure of 63 locations in the U.S.
That’s what happened late last week. So far this week, neither Walmart nor Sam’s Club has released additional details, although Sam’s Club is offering affected members a free membership extension. And media outlets have compiled other details, including a list of the closing locations.
What is known about the closures from the Sam’s Club announcement is that:
- Of the 63 closing clubs, 12 will be converted into e-commerce fulfillment centers, the first of which will be in Memphis, Tennessee.
- The other 51 facilities on the list will be “closing over the next few weeks.”
- There will be 597 clubs remaining after the closures.
Some of the closing Sam’s Club locations have already shuttered, however, according to media reports. Business Insider, which spoke with a Walmart official on the day the closures were announced, explains:
“In some cases, employees were not told their store had closed before showing up to work on Thursday. Those employees learned their store would be closing when they found the store’s doors locked and a notice announcing the closing, Sam’s Club workers told Business Insider. At some stores, employees were turned away by police officers.”
Closing Sam’s Club stores
Three of the closing locations are in recently hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, according to Business Insider. The others are spread across the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
When I tried to look up the location near me that is reportedly closing, I got no search results, as if the location had already been removed from the Sam’s Club’s website. So, I’ll take that as confirmation the store is closing, if not already closed.
Getting a refund
Sam’s Club offers active members two guarantee programs, including a 100% Membership Satisfaction Guarantee. It states that if you are unsatisfied with your membership, you can cancel it and get a refund.
Members affected by club closures have another option, however: a free three-month membership extension, available until March 31. As the webpage for this offer explains:
“To show you our sincere appreciation for your loyalty, we’d like to extend your membership for free so you can continue getting members-only pricing on things you love, things you need and all sorts of unexpected things on SamsClub.com and other Sam’s Club locations.”
To learn more about the membership extension, or to get a refund instead, visit the “We’d like to extend your membership for free” webpage.
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