Walmart Suddenly Shutters Numerous Sam’s Clubs without Notice, 11,000 Jobs Impacted, Chaos Breaks out on Twitter

“This is how fly-by-night companies operate” 

Numerous local radio stations in various cities across the US reported that Sam’s Club is permanently closing stores in their cities, and without announcement. In a number of cases, employees showed up to work this morning and found the doors locked and a notice saying that the store would be closed.

KHOU in Houston, Texas, alerted by locked-out employees and customers, said that of the 10 stores in the area, two had voice mail messages which said that the stores are closed. It was also checking into rumors of a third store being shuttered in the Houston area.

At the other end of the nation, KTUU in Anchorage, Alaska, reported that both Sam’s Club stores in Anchorage and the store in Fairbanks were closed:

Customers of Sam’s Club noticed the Anchorage-area stores closed early Thursday, Jan. 11, with no indication as to why. Now, according to a representative of Sam’s Club, it’s not just Thursday that the stores will be shuttered.

“It’s closed today, to let associates prepare for the eventual closing of the stores,” the Sam’s Club employee told KTUU. “They will be closed for good on January 26th.”

On Twitter, @AKJeff_64 lamented, that with all stores closed in Alaska, “Nearest one is probably a couple thousand miles away.”

Jessica Buckner, an audit team lead at the Sam’s Club in the Tikahtnu Commons in Anchorage, told KTVA that all Alaska stores are closing as part of a larger downsizing. “From what I heard, there’s over 260 stores that have been closed down,” she said.

In Ohio, “at least” two stores in Cincinnati were closed “without notice,” WCPO reported. “This came as a surprise to both employees and customers.”

This erupted across the country. Rumors are swirling because there was no announcement in advance of the closures.

It seems Walmart — which imports the vast majority of its merchandise — was too busy today brown-nosing up to the White House and hogging the media limelight with its announcement that the corporate tax cuts motivated it to increase the starting wage by $2, add some benefits, and hand out one-time bonuses – from $200 for newer employees to $1,000 for an employee with 20 years’ service. Massive, OK.

“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,” CEO Doug McMillon explained. Walmart was able to get this plastered all over the media.

“We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders,” he said.

Clearly, closing the Sam’s Club stores was also one of those “opportunities tax reform creates for us” — not to speak of the opportunity “to accelerate plans.” But he didn’t say that. He didn’t say anything about the Sam’s Club stores though it must have been front and center on his mind.

Instead, when the furor erupted on the social media by customers who’d just paid their membership fees and couldn’t use it anymore – all stores in Alaska are done – and by employees who suddenly didn’t have a job anymore, and when thus heckled directly on Twitter, Walmart replied via @SamsClub:

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. Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.

@JoeDavola16 asked:

So are you both screwing your employees and your membership? When can I expect a refund?

Whereupon @SamsClub replied:

We can help with that [with what, “screwing” employees and membership?]. Please private message us and we can share all you need to know.

And @GuGu_Journey asked

what about all of our memberships? i just paid $100 last week to renew my membership to find out my local store is one of the many that are closing

@SamsClub replied:

Hi Guiliana, you can follow this link to review your options:

The reply has a link to a page where customers can consider their options, none of them good when your store closes:

  1. “Free 3-month membership extension” (to use at the store that is many miles away?).
  2. “No thanks, I just want a full refund for my membership via e-gift card.” This refund will be sent “within 7 business days.” Don’t worry, just drive a little more to use it?
  3. “No thanks, I just want a full refund for my membership via check.” OK, sounds good. But you gotta be patient: “We’ll send this within 6 weeks to the address you provide below.”

What about the vendors? According to @Bob_Larson:

seems vendors don’t know either .. seeing pictures of vendors outside not knowing what to do … this is how fly by night companies operate, this should not be how a major us retailer operates. There was no reason to keep this secret except to screw people.

@ColeWilliams_12 added:

My issue isn’t you closing this happens all the time, but when you make me waste my time and gas and no one has answers this terrible. Employees don’t even know. Why was there no warning. Terrible customer service!!

It was quite a mess on Twitter.

Walmart, perhaps somewhat frazzled by the uproar it has caused with its way of doing this, eventually told Business Insider that 63 Sam’s Club stores would be closed across the country. By now, no one is believing anything anymore.

Walmart says on its website, under “Company Facts,” that a Sam’s Club store has 175 employees on average. If just 63 Sam’s Clubs will be closed – and not 260 as rumored — then about 11,000 employees would be impacted by today’s version of brick-and-mortar meltdown.

These store closings are in addition to the 269 store closings globally that Walmart announced properly back in January 2016, including 154 in the US. Of them, 102 were Walmart Express stores, 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, 7 stores in Puerto Rico, 6 discount centers, and 4 Sam’s Clubs. At the time it said that 16,000 employees would be impacted, including 10,000 in the US.

Walmart usually announces large-scale store closures in advance, including last time in January 2016. All big retailers do when they close 10% of their stores. What happened today was just nuts. All these rumors. Employees and customers are upset. No one knows anything…. Timing was terrible too. The whole thing was so amateurish.

Is jacking up ticket prices helpful in this environment? Read…  Brick & Mortar Meltdown Reaches Movie Theaters

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  91 comments for “Walmart Suddenly Shutters Numerous Sam’s Clubs without Notice, 11,000 Jobs Impacted, Chaos Breaks out on Twitter

  1. Gershon says:

    But…but…stock market hitting new records! Everything is Awesome!

  2. michael Engel says:

    Obese quantities vs shrinking family size and budget.

  3. Guido says:

    I like this development, at least from fake news perspective. Unlike Bloomberg’s fake news yesterday on China not buying treasury bills anymore and CNN style telling of half truths, this is a new self serve model. In this system, you the company, get to mislead people and then mislead some more. You don’t need to feed the fat reporters that hang around you the way birds hang outside a school lunch court at recess expecting handouts. So this is cheaper for the news maker. This will also obviate the need for fact checkers since the company can do self fact check, a la laissez faire model.

    Walmart is driving this shenanigan through and through and for once, I am sure big media drones are breathing a sigh of relief that this screw up was not theirs.

  4. Bruce D. Kowal says:

    “It seems Walmart — which imports the vast majority of its merchandise — was too busy today brown-nosing up to the White House” . . . Hey, Herr Richter, drop the Trump-hating language. This really caught me by surprise, as I had thought you were more circumspect. One-half of the nation voted for him, as likely did your readers. We get enough anti-Trump crap from CNN, CBS, ABC etc. Please make this just a place for intelligent discussion of facts. Mehr Anstand, Bitte. Vielend Dank.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      I would have read that statement the other way around.

      • It does seem to be a (political) stock response to make a public statement about some benefits in order to bury the news about layoffs. “The terrorists are attacking because we have them on the run..” Walmart was using the White House as cover, and that’s fine with 45. He makes a lot of poor decisions, did you need CNN to tell you that?

        • Ed says:

          It’s a symbiosis. Companies score points with President Trump’s supporters and the President himself by giving the man credit. I have noticed many foreign leaders actively giving Trump credit too (S Korea just yesterday).

          They know this is how bizness with the U.S. Works now.

    • Joe says:

      Chillax, Bruce, and maybe read the article again. Stating that Walmart seeks favor with the White House is not commentary about the occupant of the White House.

      • d says:

        “Chillax, Bruce, and maybe read the article again.”

        EXACTLY to much shoot from the lip, then, maybe read. Then BIG MAYBE think about what is written.

    • Sarah says:

      23% of the company voted for him at maximum. Most of the country doesn’t vote. Also reread the sentence, the party being disparaged is Walmart.

      “We get enough anti-Trump crap from CNN, CBS, ABC etc. ”
      The above is true. Trump is a symptom of decline, as has been every President since Carter. That said being that he is the latest plutocrat he is the thief people are most mad at just now.

    • Tom T says:

      Mr. Kowal,

      I must say that I have grown to respect the intellectual fortitude of the commentators on this site. Why would you insult them by suggesting via “as likely did your readers” that they voted for Trump (or Clinton for that matter). These people, being competent, have dropped the left/right absurd paradigm far behind … long ago. All things considered, this has become a “brave” new world, difficult to understand, even more demanding to financially navigate. Doubt they waste much time on “Identity Politics,” victimhood. So in the words of one of my early mentors … “suck it up cupcake.”

    • Tom T says:

      Mr. Kowal,

      Sorry, last word should have read suck it up runder Kuchen

    • van_down_by_river says:

      here’s to hoping the comment section doesn’t deteriorate into political partisan bickering, the comments are usually on topic and interesting. That being said, those of us who don’t much care for POTUS are just never going to understand what others see in him.

      No matter, elected officials seem to be harmless figure heads. When I can vote for the lobbyists who write and legislate our laws I will show more interest (when asked why the carried interest tax dodge was included in the new tax bill, congressmen responded that they couldn’t be expected to read the bill – much less write it). Legislators tell lobbyists to write whatever they want and they will vote however they are paid to vote.

      As for Walmart, they have my complete loyalty – I see them as my best hope of preventing Amazon taking over the world. Amazon is an empire of pure evil and must be resisted. Walmart is the underdog but they are my dog in this fight.

      • I M says:

        VDBTR said: “As for Walmart, they have my complete loyalty – I see them as my best hope of preventing Amazon taking over the world….”

        Where I live I have two massive Walmart super centers within a 3.1 mile radius. Increase that radius to 10 miles and there are four massive Walmarts. It’s ridiculous. Not one of them ever has a parking lot that is over 50% and three of them have deteriorated into the typical dreary ‘dump’ I have come to expect from WM after the first year of business. They too are overtaking the world in the most foul manner by undercutting any and all competitors. They too are poor employers in terms of worker satisfaction. Sadly, the victims have been large grocery stores as one has closed in the area and none have been built since WM came to town. It wouldn’t be a problem except that WM has a limited selection of food brands vs a large grocer and WM’s fresh produce quality is atrocious. If Amazon suddenly starts opening Whole Foods stores around the country then I believe they will win over many Walmartians. Regardless, the only loser in the Amazon vs Walmart war is us, the consumers and working Americans.

      • Smingles says:

        “As for Walmart, they have my complete loyalty – I see them as my best hope of preventing Amazon taking over the world. Amazon is an empire of pure evil and must be resisted. Walmart is the underdog but they are my dog in this fight.”

        Amazon is doing to Walmart what Walmart did to thousands of small businesses across the country.

    • Jake Botkin says:

      Bruce – your use of German would be eye-raising if it weren’t so juvenile, but it is testament to your inability to process at an adult level when Wolf repeats a fact Walmart is happy to do themselves (brown nosing this disgusting White House) and you get offended by it. Why not take responsibility for the president you elected?

    • matt says:

      Bruce. what you may not know is this. Walmart released this after the bell Friday. 1,000 salaried at corporate axed by Jan 31. 3,500 axed salaried co assistant managers by Jan 31. they will be replaced with 1,700 p t hourly assistant managers.

    • Prairies says:

      There is no mention of Trump, just that Walmart was running a PR campaign about how great the tax cut helped them support their employees, only to silently lay off enough people to cover the $2 raise they are bragging about.

  5. TheDona says:

    Yeah well they are going a different direction…see their recent acquisitions which are Millennial oriented:
    Bonobos, Modcloth, Moosejaw (Patagonia and Northface), and Shoebuy. They also captured the younger online home with Jet and Hayneedle.

    I think it is a smart move. They are slowly rebranding themselves away from the “People of Walmart.” Plenty of Dollar Stores to pick up on that demographic.

    If you haven’t heard of those brands then you are too old and probably shopping at Costco anyway. :-)

    • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit says:

      Hey no Wal’s for me. It takes the same 1-1/2 hours to get to the one in Milpitas or the one in Gilroy, by bus. There’s a small one on Monterey Highway if I want to ride my bike, and I know this because there’s a Big-5 in the same mall. I haven’t even been in.

      Where I am, Target takes the place of Wal-Mart.

      • van_down_by_river says:

        For decades I’ve had to travel to small towns for my job. Until Walmarts started showing up you could not find healthy groceries and fresh produce (including organic). For those who live outside the urban core but still want to eat healthy Walmart has been a godsend. I’m tired of people complaining about a good company, they are efficient and deliver good value to consumers who are otherwise under full assault by the central banks.

        I hope Walmart is doing ok – if they lose the battle to Amazon they will be missed.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Don’t worry. Walmart is going to be around. They’re making massive investments in their online presence to fight Amazon. And their online business is booming. But they’re reducing their brick-and-mortar footprint. So this will impact some people that have come to rely on it. This can be devastating for smaller towns that don’t have other convenient options.

        • NM-Star says:

          Where I live in rural New Mexico is exactly as van_down_by_river mentions. Walmart may not be the best place to shop but they are the only choice. I travel 100-miles each way to reach it as well. The old country store days were terrible with prices so high you’d be stupid to buy anything and selection and freshness didn’t seem to matter.

      • R2D2 says:

        I’m there with you. I prefer Target to Walmart any day. Walmart is one ugly monster.

    • 2GeekRnot2Geek says:

      Not surprising that Sam’s Clubs are closing with no notice to customers or employees. Like Walmart was ever a good corporate citizen, employer, or a truthful retailer. Anyone remember the Walmart “Made in America” debacle from the 90’s?

      And I do tell everyone I know that is owned and operated by Walmart. I do not and never have shopped at a Walmart or Sam’s Club because I don’t give my money to corporations that can’t pay a living wage, and foist employee medical coverage and food stamps on to the taxpayer.

      I purchased 2 end tables from the first week that Walmart took over. 30% lower than the closest internet price, and free shipping! It’s the only time I’ve knowingly purchased something from a Walmart company, and I knew I was purchasing a loss leader and Walmart was losing money. ; )

      I didn’t know about Moosejaw and Hayneedle though. Thanks for that. No more North Face for me.

      And yes, I have a Costco membership. And a Sam’s Club is closer to my house than Costco.

      • Lisa says:

        The North Face is sold at Moosejaw, a retailer that Walmart bought. The North Face is owned by VF Corporation, a publicly traded company that owns a whole bunch of other brands. I’m not trying to criticize your decision about The North Face, just to make it clear who owns what. Furthermore, Patagonia (also mentioned above) is privately owned by the Chouinard family.

      • Paulo says:

        I don’t know what Costco is like in the States, but in my Province of BC their employees are Unionized with the same protections other Union workers have, are well paid compared to other retail employee wage rates, are helpful when asked questions, and wonder of wonder, they seem to be engaged and pleased to be working at Costco. They also close during all regular statutory holidays so ther employees can have a day off with their families.

        Their customer service is beyond belief it is so good. They made a mistake with one of my purchases and I received 3 calls from a manager ensuring everything was fixed for us. This was important as we live 1.5 hours away by car and only shop there about once per month.

        Their prices aren’t always the best, especially their meat department, but dairy, vegetables, etc are way cheaper.

        WalMart is just grim, although I confess to having shopped there once last year to take advantage of a sale on Prime Rib roasts over Christmas. Who knows, we might stop in once more next year? :-) You know the website, People of WalMart? It exists for a reason. Of course nothing is more depressing than seeing a senior buying tuna at a Dollar Store, but WalMart is a close second for sure.

        When they moved into our nearby city they put a lot of local merchants out of business. I wouldn’t mind seeing them fail. The groceries and goods will still be bought, just sold by another company, hopefully local.

        • Wolfbay says:

          The average Costco shopper has an income of 100,000$ vs 50,000$ for Walmart. The elites couldn’t care less if Walmart disappeared, but the”little people” would disagree.

        • IdahoPotato says:

          I dropped amazon Prime and upped my Costco membership to Executive last year. Best customer service in retail.

          As for Walmart, it would be an emergency option.

        • Ed says:

          Medium / smallish towns count on Walmart. Often it is the only retail other than Dollar stores.

          (Yeah, Walmart destroyed the local general store. But now they are it, the only option short of driving 30 miles to the next town.)

        • MaryR says:

          Costco allows unionization unlike Walmart, which closed a Quebec store in 2005 in response to the successful union formation by employees.

          Walmart also tried to sidestep Canadian laws on reparations to the union employees upon closing and fought paying until losing in the highest court in 2014. The company has no ethics and will not even follow laws intended to protect workers.

      • van_down_by_river says:

        Thanks for letting me know that is owned by Walmart. I prefer to shop at brick and mortar establishments but from now on I will do all my online shopping at Walmart is a good company and I’m happy to give them my business.

      • Bobby Dale says:

        Please go back and look at the numbers regarding “living wage” and then study competition.
        WalMart is competing with Amazon and local supermarkets and this restructuring seems to be acknowledge this fact. They are closing Sam’s Clubs because they can ship the same items from a fulfillment center for lower cost, the Amazon model. I expect that Costco will soon follow in Walmarts footsteps if they intend to survive Amazon. At the same time Walmart raised the STARTING wage of all workers to $11.00/hour which may not seem a lot in the coastal enclaves of high costs of living, but are very good wages in the forgotten middle of the country. This will force local stores and Amazon via Whole Foods to raise wages, hence costs and subsequently prices.
        Amazon, by the way, pays it’s average fulfillment center employees just shy of $13 per hour. Repeat: Walmart will pay STARTING employees $11 per hour.
        From my perspective, as someone who shops almost exclusively at businesses which have a brick and mortar location in my community, but rarely at Walmart or Target, I feel as though I am paying wages within my community. This may be foolish, but I FEEL it is my responsibility.
        If you are in remote or rural area get used to mail order and Dollar General because they will soon be your options. (back to 1910, Sears catalog and the general store)

  6. LouisDeLaSmart says:

    This looks like a direct message to legislators saying “Either instate the internet tax or we are going to make it hurt”.
    And truth be told, Amazon should pay sales tax respective to the state where the delivery address is.
    So there just might be a chance for Brick’n’Mortar to come back to the game.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Amazon is now collecting sales taxes, based on ship-to addresses, in all states that have sales taxes. It lost that battle. But not all online sellers are collecting sales taxes.

      • HRH says:

        Unfortunately amazon had twenty years of no sales tax in most states. Plenty of time to establish itself and obliterate those local businesses that managed to survive competition from Walmart.

        The double whammy killed a lot of small/midsize businesses.

        Not being particularly cost sensitive I was always happy to keep as much of my cash circulating through the local economy as possible.

      • LouisDeLaSmart says:

        Thanks for the correction, life in Oregon made me oblivious to this fact.

      • Scott says:

        This is only partially true. Amazon collects sales tax if the sale is from Amazon, but not if it’s from another company, even if it is fulfilled by Amazon. In many cases, I don’t even know who actually sold the product until I get to checkout and see if there is a sales tax charged or not.

  7. Rates says:

    It’s obvious the Walmart family needs some cash to buy their next toy.

  8. Petunia says:

    One of the Sam’s Club closing was in my town. They report the employees will be paid until March 26 and the managers until April. This Sam’s was in the low rent/high crime part of town in a dying mall complex. So not a surprise to anyone.

    I don’t shop Walmart because they do stuff like this and generally mistreat the employees. It is my understanding that employees getting the huge raise to $11hr are not getting the bonus too.

    • van_down_by_river says:

      I worked part time for a while at the Sam’s Club on Aurora ave. in Seattle. My full time job paid my medical so that was not a concern. I stocked groceries and I gotta say I enjoyed the work and was never mistreated by management. People seem to enjoy hating on Walmart but people seem to enjoy hating in general – look what they did to poor old Al Franken (sure! Al was the problem). If Walmart were to disappear they would be missed by low income people who need to eat and feed their families.

      • Petunia says:

        When I lived in FL, Walmart employees were all part timers on food stamps and medicaid, that’s what I don’t like about them. They were deliberately impoverishing workers and taxpayers. I shopped Publix, which was more expensive, because their employees had better pay and benefits. I believe in voting with your money and your feet.

  9. Michael Z Archangel says:

    Tit for tat. Get used to it . It’s a tactic used in business all of the time. It is not moral or ethical. But it is most definitely true.

  10. I postulated to a friend who lives in a rural town that without his Walmart his town is going to perish. These events often set off a chain reaction, the health clinic closes, no bus or train service. Its sad to consider that many lives are based on the whim of corporate executives, but then look at Detroit.

    • Petunia says:

      When I lived in south FL, I remember the county bending over backwards with road construction concessions for a coming Sam’s club. The county picked up the tab for putting in turning lanes and traffic lights for them. There may have been other concessions as well. I wonder what the towns losing these Sam’s Clubs have given them. Walmart is infamous for getting deals from the towns where they open stores.

      • Paulo says:

        They built the new Walmart in our nearby town on an Indian Reservation. They have a secret deal with the local band, and avoid paying municipal taxes, although still enjoy services such as fire protection, water, etc. Being on the Reserve, Band members don’t pay any taxes on their purchases.

        For the taxpayers who pay the bill to keep everything rolling along, it’s just lose lose lose all around.

  11. Scott says:

    Doesn’t the WARN ACT require the company to provide 60 days notice before closing locations with 100+ full-time employees?

    Many of the locations seem to have closed without any warning. Is this because most of the employees are part-time or simply because Walmart chose to ignore the law?

  12. Bobber says:

    Sams’s Club has no place in this world now that Costco has taken over. Sam’s Club was out executed. They should close down the entire business, if they are not prepared to invest and compete.

    Costco seems to attract top-notch employees and keep them motivated.

    • Frederick says:

      I went into one near me in Riverhead once and looked around When I heard they wanted a fee to shop there I left and never returned Costco is much superior

      • Javert Chip says:


        Are you aware COSTCO also charges you a fee to shop in their store?

    • Binky says:

      Sam’s Club has been the only bulk membership club in Fairbanks AK for twenty years. Anchorage has 2 costco stores and most national chains, but FAI is a regional hub for a vast geographic area that has grown to depend on being able to purchase bulk items from Sams for shipment to remote villages by air-TP, food, cleaning supplies, etc.

      This includes the North Slope with its oil fields, NW Alaska with its mines and rural communities, and the interior mining districts, as well as road system based restaurants and stores that specialized in reselling bulk products from Sams and Costco (Three Bears chain, Eagle market in Valdez) for resale. This is going to drive costs up across a vast area of the state already pressed by low oil prices and declining production.

  13. Mike Earussi says:

    Stores close all the time, they have to if they’re not making money. So it’s not the fact of their store closings that’s bad, it’s the tactlessness they did it with.

    But really, when have the Waltons ever cared about their employees, customers or suppliers? Their reputation for treating everyone like shit is well known. If any other company behaved like this it would be a embarrassment, but with Walmart it’s SOP.

    • JD says:

      When has Walmart given a fuck about America at all except to make some profit? They forced domestic suppliers to move production to foreign countries to have the ‘privilege’ of their stuff being in their stores and be a low cost supplier… I do occasionally ho into a Walmart to buy food but always have to choke down the puke I feel like emitting while in the store

    • TheDona says:

      There is no corporate entity that has been or is embarrassed by their behavior. I am not sure why all the hate on Walmart. Good heavens look at all the poisoned sites left by chemical companies. Outright fraud by Enron and the like.

      They can close the stores however they want to. By law the employees will be paid their 60 days.

      So we want the stock market to stay up so we can reap our rewards yet are indignant when the company is taking steps to stay ahead of this retail shakeup???

  14. Kreditanstalt says:

    This must at root be ECONOMIC. Americans and their unearned-through-productivity standard of living have a shelf life after all.

    Apparently the Trump “recovery” or Trump “bull market” isn’t as wonderful as his hagiographers would have us believe…

    • Frederick says:

      Ya think

    • Javert Chip says:


      Those of us who have been alive longer than 30 years have seen change come & go. Twenty years ago, a few were bemoaning the loss of Sears & Robuck (RIP).

      Change happens because (in the USA) hundreds of millions of people want to do business a new way. Some may be extremely uncomfortable with this, or may not like the new way, but the overwhelming majority of consumers have voted with their mouse clicks & feet.

      If you don’t like the current model (Amazon, Walmart…), rest assured things will continue to change (dollar stores are already voraciously ripping market share away from Walmart).

      However, I do agree Walmart has handled this about as bad as corporately possible.

  15. Seth Christensen says:

    If it makes you feel better, Sam’s Club gift cards can be used at Walmart.

  16. wkevinw says:

    I am not a big fan of Costco leadership’s politics, but they have a few things right. If the company is doing well, I would pay the employees marginally better and have better overall conditions than the competition. That’s enough to win the competition. It’s amazing to me to hear how Walmart and Amazon deal with their employees. Those companies cost themselves much more than they save by doing this.

    It would be easy to make some kind of communication with the employees, e.g. by phone or email that the location was closing, and to email the details about the extra few months of pay etc. Not difficult nor costly…

    • elysianfield says:

      “It would be easy to make some kind of communication with the employees, e.g. by phone or email that the location was closing, and to email the details about the extra few months of pay etc. Not difficult nor costly”

      I would expect that Corporate would not do so to avoid the inevitable employee discontent, theft, spurious injury claims, etc. that butthurt employees would generate.

      Not moral, but practical.

  17. JD says:

    Were they losing money with the stores? Or were they just not making as much profit as they wanted?

    • Petunia says:

      The one they just closed by me was in a dying mall where the Macys and JCPennys had already closed. So not a surprise. I avoid the area as well, due to high crime, which has gotten worse in the past year.

    • d says:

      “Were they losing money with the stores? Or were they just not making as much profit as they wanted?”

      1 Walmart is a PREDATOR. A Globalised Vampire Corporate.

      2 Not getting the RO Investment it requires. IS losing money. In its Vampire Corporate Perception.

      To a Globalised Vampire Corporate “People” are just another resource to be consumed.

      If you look at the “Alien’s” in “Independence day”. They are the Ultimate “Globalised Vampire Corporate” except they are “Consuming” everything in their path in the Galaxy.

      The “Concept” for those aliens came from the reality of Entities like Walmart..

      • Javert Chip says:


        So you get your financial analysis from (old) Hollywood movies and you wonder why it’s hard to take you seriously?

        Walmart last 5-year-avg margin was 2.98% (Costco 1.60)
        Walmart ROI 11-13% (Costco 16-18%)

        A $2/hr raise for (the estimated) 2,000,000 of Walmart’s hourly employees equals $8.2 B, well over 50% of Walmart’s total profit.

        These are not “predatory” numbers.

        Go back to mom’s basement & watch more Si-Fi movies.

  18. Thomas R Kauser says:

    Two years ago when shelves were empty oil prices high and cashiers slow Sam’s club gas pumps were the bright spot? The big meeting is real soon with a top entertainment star motivating the managers. The salary to work ratios are worst than the sales per square foot numbers?
    Walmart Valdez!!!

  19. TheDona says:

    Walmart is actually looking forward to best strategic growth long term. Otherwise it would have ended up with the likes of Sears, JC Pennys, and Macys. They are buying up solid brands, focusing on ecommerce (BTW some of the closed Sam’s Clubs will be turned into fulfillment centers) and moving away from the lowest common denominator. Dollar General is on the move to fill the void Walmart is leaving. In fact they are buying up some of the Walmart’s smaller format stores.

    As far as treating employees poorly….if you are a lowly hourly employee in ANY retail biz…it is not a living wage. I consider this a slow indoctrination into UBI. At least they are working and the government picks up the slack.
    Corporate welfare is not a new concept. “Privatizing profits and socializing losses” has been addressed since the 1950s.

    • Javert Chip says:

      Some on this thread appear to consider Amazon to be Walmart’s biggest threat.

      Walmart actually has (at least) 2 extastental threats:

      o Amazon (more-or-less from the top)
      o Dollar stores (from the bottom)

      At the moment, Dollar stores appear to be doing the most damage, but this has been going on for a few years – the “Amazon v Walmart” fight has just started

  20. Max Power says:

    In a way this mirrors a bit the tax code changes themselves…

    A lot of noise was made about the standard deduction being doubled but very little was mentioned about the fact that the personal exemption is going away.

    Taking away the personal exemption wipes out like 80% of the benefit of doubling the standard deduction.

    • Petunia says:

      That depends on the size of your family. For a family of 3 or less it is the same. With the new child credit you should be better off if your kids are young.

    • Javert Chip says:


      As recently as 2016, over 80% of IRS filers earning $50k or less did not itemize. This number is expected to rise to 95% in 2018 under the new law.

      The change to the standard deduction & eliminating the personal exemption primarily hits those with incomes over $50k.

      • Mad as hell says:

        Alright, then do something about it. Earn 20K. How? Pay off your debts, then don’t get in more debt. Then work part time at something you enjoy, and enjoy your kids or family the rest of the time. Think of the plusses, you are off the treadmill, your kids see more of you, you deprive the government and banksters of money. Sounds like an all around good plan to me….oh that is right, you have to continue your “lifestyle”.

        • Javert Chip says:


          Not only are you mad as hell, you’re also incoherent as hell.

  21. WSKJ says:

    hello, all, and thx, Wolf, for all the good work

    Here’s a small good thing that Walmart does:

    WalMart sells over-the-counter Regular insulin, Novolin R, for an affordable $ 24.88, plus sales tax, in my state. This is a “recombinant DNA origin” insulin, produced on contract for WalMart, by Novo Nordisc (according to a pharmacist at WalMart on my last visit). It is equivalent to for example Humulin R, by Lilly.

    My endocrinologist advised me that he has Medicare patients with Part D (Drug) coverage, who avoid the donut hole by buying their Regular insulin at WalMart. I have become one of them.

    How does this work ?

    Compare the WalMart price to that reported by Cigna for Humulin R under their Part D coverage, as per my October 2015 statement: Cigna shows $ 6.99, plus $ 55.07, plus $ 60.31 paid by multiple parties including me, for the equivalent 10 mL vial. That’s a total of $ 122.37, the nominal price and I do mean nominal.

    Did I leave anything out in the comparison that I made? Anyone ?

    I appreciate what WalMart is doing in making available, affordable over-the-counter insulin, and I give them credit for doing so.

    I don’t own WalMart stock, and I think that the closure of the Sam’s Clubs in Alaska was badly done….. I suspect that responsibility for offshoring our American manufacturing industries is shared by many. I want, here, to bring to light a small good thing that WalMart is doing, and in this one small example , I offer an informed opinion.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      You’re correct – retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and others that are trying to keep essential things affordable for consumers are a good thing in many ways. The Big Pharma structure in the US, and how it forces consumers to overpay (either directly or via their insurance companies or government entities) is a scandal. By offering the same products (and even some services) for a lot less, these retailers are playing an important role in cracking open the pharma cabal in the US.

      Besides, though I never buy at Walmart because there isn’t one anywhere near me, I cheer them on for fighting Amazon at every level. If they didn’t, Amazon would become even more powerful and wipe out even more retailers, cutting down competition and choice.

      • Petunia says:

        Just wait until Amazon gets into the drug business. I see that right around the corner.

  22. Matt says:

    Fraday after markets closed they announced 1’000 at corporate axed. 3’500 salary co assistant managers axed by end of month. Co assistant managers to be replaced with lower pay assistant manager’s hourly pay

  23. raxadian says:

    Okay, can’t say I am surprised. Walmart is still at war with Amazon and others after all.

  24. Alan Dee says:

    Hey Wolf,
    Thanks for all your work.
    I appreciate the intelligent comments from your readers as well, (Even the liberals, lol)
    My wife has a $85 bladder medicine which is only available for $20 from Sam’s. Hence the annual membership. The health ins. won’t let her use the purchase towards her deductible. Thank you big pharma.

    We have 5 adult children, in varying stages of self sufficiency. So the wife just buys some items in bulk and we pass out the excess.

    Years ago I was almost OCD about buying American. I don’t see many viable options these days.

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