Frequent your local Sam’s Club? You may have noticed some signs posted in their Upstate stores. Syracuse.com reports that Sam’s Club, which is owned by Walmart, is closing several stores around the state.
Syracuse.com reports the company has not revealed exactly which locations will close, but there were several sudden closings that alarmed residents. A Syracuse location at Erie Boulevard East closed last Thursday, and when residents called with concern, a voicemail said that they would reopen. However, a sign outside the store said that the location will close permanently on January 26.
This closing will affect 151 employees. As for other clubs closing, locations in Syracuse, Henrietta, Greece, and West Ellicott will be closing in Upstate New York, according to Syracuse.com. And around the country, locations in Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, and Louisiana will also be part of the closures.
“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,” Anne Hatfield, a Sam’s Club spokesperson, told WBRZ. “Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.”
A 2011 report found that 86% of consumers will pay more for a better experience, and many customers may feel this way about a Sam’s Club membership. On the management end, however, money may tell another story. Syracuse.com reports that these locations closed right as Walmart announced that it was raising their minimum wage to $11 an hour and would hand out bonuses.
Hatfield said in a statement to WBRZ that they will try to transfer employees to other Walmart or Sam’s Club stores. But since e-commerce revenue is numbered at about $423.3 billion and is steadily increasing, the increase in online retail is a threat to stores like Sam’s Club, and Hatfield said it’s a factor in the closings.
“It’s supply and demand,” she said.
A Business Insider report details the 63 Sam’s Club closings around the country. Sam’s Club CEO John Furner sent a company-wide email to inform employees of the closures:
“After a thorough review, it became clear we had built clubs in some locations that impacted other clubs, and where population had not grown as anticipated,” he wrote. “We will be closing some clubs, and we notified them today. We’ll convert some of them into eCommerce fulfillment centers — to better serve the growing number of members shopping with us online and continue scaling the SamsClub.com business.”