If you love filling your pantry with warehouse-sized, wallet-friendly goodies, you might have one less superstore to shop from.
As Business Insider reports, Walmart is closing 63 of their Sam’s Club stores leaving around 10,000 people unemployed, some of whom didn’t know they were out of a job until they got to work and found the doors locked and a sign posted.
Others found out via notices that arrived at their homes by FedEx.
Sam’s Club CEO, John Furner, explained the closings in a company-wide email:
"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," Furner 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."
Indeed up to 12 of the closed locations will operate as e-commerce distribution centers, but employees aren’t guaranteed a slot—they’ll have to reapply for jobs there.
Furner addressed the layoffs in a statement, "We know this is difficult news for our associates and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations."
Former employees from all locations are understandably devastated and the loss will be deeply felt in Puerto Rico, which is still in massive recovery mode.
“The Barceloneta, Puerto Rico store closed without notice—over 950 people without jobs," Eliezer Cabrera, a Sam's Club shopper, told Business Insider. “This is the last thing Puerto Rico needed after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.”
The timing was notably odd as news of the closings came on the same day Walmart announced they would raise the minimum hourly wage to $11, increase benefits and offer employee bonuses.
The company responded to consumer questions and employee grievances via Twitter messages today.
For a full list of store closings, click here.