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Walmart to close 60 Sam’s Club stores as retailer increases basic wage

Something had to give. Walmart’s decision to close 10% of its Sam’s Club stores, with the potential loss of around 10,000 jobs, coincided Thursday with the retail giant boosting starting salaries for its US workers, and give other veteran employees bonuses.

However, the retailer said also Thursday it will use savings from the tax bill signed into law in December to reward its workers with extra pay.

Walmart said it is closing 63 of its 660 Sam’s Club stores across the country over the next few weeks. Up to 12 of those stores will be repurposed into e-commerce distribution sites.

An unnamed official spokesman said at least eight Sam’s Club stores closed Thursday and the rest would shutter in the coming weeks.

The Walmart official said it would too soon to know how many jobs would be eliminated with the Sam’s Club closures, although each store typically employs 150-160 workers. He said some employees would be re-hired at other Walmart locations or at the newly created e-commerce distribution sites.

The closures came on the same day that Walmart announced it would boost its starting salary for US workers to $11 an hour and hand out one-time cash bonuses of around $1,000 to workers who had clocked up 20-years-plus with the discount giant, effective during the February 17 pay cycle.

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