Walmart announced that it was closing a number of Sam's Club stores, shortly after it announced it was raising its starting wage to $11/hour and expanding benefits programs, as well as giving some employees cash bonuses following President Trump's tax reform.
Wal-Mart was quick to make a media splash with the news that it was raising the starting hourly wages to $11/hour, expanding employee benefits and offering worker bonuses of up to $1000 in response to the Trump tax cuts; it was far more covert, however, with the news that on the very same day it was also closing hundreds of Sam's Club stores nationwide and laying off thousands of workers according to numerous media reports.
Jessica Buckner, an audit team lead at a Sam's Club location in Anchorage, told local TV station KTVA that all Alaska stores are closing as part of a larger downsizing across the U.S. "From what I heard, there's over 260 stores that have been closed down," she said according to CBS News.
The wholesale clubs' official closure date is Jan. 26, Buckner said.
Shortly after, the company issued a statement, stating that the number of stores for closure is somewhat lower, at 63, if still a sizable number. That compares with a total of five wholesale club stores the company has closed since fiscal 2013, securities filings show.
Ten to 12 of the closed stores could be converted to e-commerce facilities, the spokesperson said. The news is consistent with Sam's Club's ongoing plans to optimize its stores to fulfill more online orders and keep pace with internet retailers such as Boxed.
The closures also affect stores in New Jersey, upstate New York, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. In some locations, per social media, people showed up to work only to be told that their location was closing, with nearly no advance notice.
The chain, which competes with Costco , has more than 650 locations employing more than 100,000 people, with an average of 175 employees per store, according to the company.
No formal announcement was posted Thursday morning by Sam's Club, but the company acknowledged the closures on Twitter with a general statement.
Read more: (Link: www.zerohedge.com)
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Walmart has claimed that it will rage its starting wage to $11, expand benefits, and provide a cash bonus to employees due to President Trump's tax reform law.
A Walmart worker organizes products for the Christmas season at a Walmart store in Teterboro, New Jersey. Walmart to issue bonuses in wake of tax reform
19 Mins Ago | 01:40
Walmart's employees will soon reap the benefits of the recent tax law changes, as the company raises its starting wage, creates new benefits and distributes bonuses to eligible workers.
The big-box retailer announced Thursday it will be increasing its starting wage rate for hourly employees in the U.S. to $11, and is expanding maternity and parental leave benefits. Currently, Walmart's starting wage is $9 until workers complete a training program. Then, they receive $10.
Walmart will also be paying a one-time cash bonus to eligible employees of as much as $1,000. The payouts, which should total roughly $400 million, will result in a one-time charge that the company will take in the fourth quarter of this year.
The bonuses will be determined by an employee's length of service at the company. Those workers with more than 20 years of experience will qualify to receive the full $1,000. However, workers with two to four years of experience will receive $250, a Walmart spokesman told CNBC.
Employees with 15 to 19 years of service at Walmart will receive $750, while those with 10 to 14 years of work there will receive a $400 bonus, and five to nine years of experience merits a $300 bonus, he said.
The company is also creating a new benefit that provides financial assistance to its employees who are looking to adopt a child, giving them as much as $5,000 per child to cover expenses such as adoption agency fees, translation fees and legal costs.
Read more: (Link: www.cnbc.com)
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