January 12, 2018

Walmart to close Sam's Club in Worcester, after announcing raises, bonuses

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The Sam's Club location on Tobias Boland Way in Worcester will close later this month.

In the same day Walmart announced it would be raising its starting wage to $11 and offering an employee bonus due to a new federal tax code, the company announced that it would close 63 Sam's Club stores.

One of those locations set to close is a Sam's Club on Tobias Boland Way in Worcester, Walmart said in an email to the WBJ. That location is adjacent to a Walmart Supercenter store.

The company said it "made the difficult decision to close our Worcester Sam's Club location."

The store will close to the public by Jan. 26, Walmart spokeswoman Laura Ladd Poff said, offering no details on the number of employees at the location. On average, about 150 employees work at Sam's Clubs location, she added.

Some of the Sam's Club locations, a division of the Arkansas-based retailer, will be converted to eCommerce fulfillment centers to speed up online orders.

The company said it will provide support and resources to those affected by the closures, including up to a $1,000 one-time cash bonus made possible -- according to the company -- by the new federal tax law.

Employees will receive 60 days of pay and severance to those eligible.

"We know this is difficult news for our associates, and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations," said Sam's Club President and CEO John Furner. "Our focus today has been on those associates and their communities, and communicating with them."

The company said wage increases for Walmart store employees will take effect in February and will be about $300 million in addition to wage increases already planned.

The one-time bonus represents a $400 million expense, the company said.

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