Walmart is closing 63 Sam’s Club stores across the United States. The closings will impact about 9,400 employees, according to a Walmart official. In some cases, employees were not told their store had closed before they showed up for work on Thursday. Those employees learned their store was closed when they found the store’s doors locked and a notice announced the closure.
Ten of the affected stores will be turned into e-commerce distribution centers, and employees of those stores will have the opportunity to reapply for positions at those locations, a Walmart official said. The remaining stores will stay open for several weeks before closing permanently. All of the affected stores were scrubbed from the Sam’s Club website on Thursday morning. The store closings were attributed to poor performance in areas where growth failed to occur or a store was too close to another Sam’s Club location.
The strategy to convert 10-12 of the closed locations into fulfillment centers will help Sam’s Club build out its e-commerce capabilities by giving it a wider fulfillment network, potentially helping it get online orders delivered to customers faster. Increasing its commitment to e-commerce may help Sam’s Club compete with wholesale rivals. E-commerce is becoming more of a focus in wholesale retail, and if Sam’s Club doesn’t invest in it, the company may get left behind.