On Thursday, Walmart made a huge announcement that will positively affect many of their current and future employees: the starting wage rate will be $11/hour across the country.
Further, employees who have worked with the company for an extended period of time will receive bonuses, with those who have worked there for over 20 years receiving a one-time $1,000 bonus. Anyone who has worked there over five years will receive at least a $300 bonus.
This announcement comes on the heels of so many similar announcements by companies like AT&T and Comcast, claiming that the new tax system allows these companies to give more money to their employees.
Sam’s Club is a member’s only retail warehouse club which was founded by Sam Walton in 1983 and owned and operated by Walmart. They announced they will be closing or converting 63 stores across the country.
Seven of these stores are in Illinois, reports WGN, many in the Chicago-area. The store closures will be in the towns of Naperville, Wheeling, Batavia, Streamwood, Matteson, Moline, and Romeoville.
In a news release, Romeoville Village Manager Steve Gulden said “This came as a surprise to us as Sam’s has demonstrated a strong sales increase each year since opening.” That store will close January 26th, but no word on what exact dates the other stores will close.
“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,” Sam’s Club President and CEO John Furner wrote in a letter to employees. “We’ve decided to right-size our fleet and better align our locations with our strategy.”
The Chicago Tribune noted that Sam’s Club has been a huge boom for Chicago’s grocery-industry for years with more business than other chains like Mariano’s, Meijer, and Aldi.
Stores that are converted will turn into regional distribution centers or e-commerce facilities. Management will attempt to transfer current employees to other Sam’s Clubs or Walmarts nearby.
If you are a member of Sam’s Club, you can call 1-888-746-7726 to cancel membership and potentially get a refund.