Economy

Full Media Release from Walmart Regarding the Closure of Jamestown Sam's Club

Full Media Release from Walmart Regarding the Closure of Jamestown Sam's Club

The warehouse retailer issued the statement in response to news that the Walmart-owned Sam's Club is shutting down stores. In the most recent quarter Sam's reported sales in existing stores rose 2.8%, while Costco reported sales rose 7.9%. The closure was described as abrupt, and some employees reportedly did not know it was coming.

Customers looking to do some bulk shopping at Sam's Club were left scratching their heads Thursday when they were turned away by store personnel without explanation.

The company's wage hike comes as retailers focus on customer service and reconfigure how they use their brick-and-mortar stores to compete with the fast delivery and convenience that Amazon offers.

"We know this is hard news for our associates and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations", Sam's Club CEO John Furner said.

"Our goal is to place as numerous impacted associates as possible at other Sam's Clubs or Walmart stores", he said in an email.

The Davenport and Rockford stores will remain open. The change will give full-time hourly workers at Walmart stores the same maternity- and parental-leave benefits as the company's salaried employees.

Further, employees who have worked with the company for an extended period of time will receive bonuses, with those who have worked there for over 20 years receiving a one-time $1,000 bonus.

If you are one of the majority of people who do not work at Walmart, why should you care about this?

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Walmart has announced plans to increase the starting wage rate for its hourly associates in the U.S.to $11 Thursday, and Tahlequah workers will reap the benefits.

Sam's Club CEO John Furner notified employees of the closures in a companywide email sent Thursday.

News 8 will update this story with more information as becomes available.

Walmart said Thursday it was still determining how much it would save as a result of the corporate tax cuts, although the savings are likely to be in the billions of dollars.

And given what happened at Sam's Clubs with lay-offs, some shoppers are skeptical.

The company also told others concerned about the employees that it will "provide support and resources to those associates who are affected, including the bonus announced today and 60 days of pay, as well as severance to those eligible".

With six locations in Lubbock, including its Neighborhood Market, Wal-Mart is the eighth largest employer in the city, with 1,810 employees in June 2016, according to the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance.