Sam’s Club surprises loyal workers with unemployment

Popular mega-store leaves hundreds jobless after unexpected closures


Written By Sara Cronin

Picture this: it’s a cold January morning, and after you’ve managed to pull yourself awake and put on your uniform (a blue vest and jacket), you’re ready to climb into your car for the ride to work, anticipating a successful day.

The day is off to a good start, until you find out that as soon as you get to your job, your corporation has failed to tell you the store you work in is now closed. You were a devout, hard worker just this morning, and are now unemployed the day of your morning shift.

This was the reality for thousands of Sam’s Club employees across the country.

Sam’s Club, which is owned by the all-powerful superstore Walmart, has unexpectedly closed 63 of its stores across the country and is anticipating closing even more in the upcoming months.

A corporation as big as Sam’s Club did not even give a full day’s notice ahead of time to its employees, and thousands showed up to a job that became non-existent overnight. Did a single person within the corporation think it would have been a good idea to give some kind of a heads-up?

Ironically, the same day thousands of people became unemployed, Walmart announced that it was raising its hourly pay to $11 an hour. And get this: they will start offering more bonuses to its employees; that is, if you’ve worked there for twenty-plus years.

The whole company seems a little disorganized in its morals and fairness to its employees. Unfortunately for Sam’s Club workers, this is only the beginning of its closures.

According to John Furner, the CEO of Sam’s Club, the reason behind the abrupt closings were due to the location of the stores. Apparently, they were built in areas where the expected population did not grow according to plan. The new idea for the deserted and vacant stores is to turn many into e-commerce distribution centers to help fulfill the increase and demand of online ordering.

More online ordering only means more distribution centers. More distribution centers means less jobs.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I actually do prefer shopping in person. I’m sure other people would too if it means keeping this many number of people employed.

To make matters worse, Sam’s Club announced  they are not going to guarantee their previous employees a job in the distribution centers. Even if some of these past employees were hired again at the distribution centers, it would be slim pickings since most e-commerce distribution centers, like Amazon, are run by robots.

I’ve heard about a lot of companies closing or laying off large numbers of employees, but to me this sounds completely wrong. I would hate to be laid off in the first place, but knowing I was replaced by a robot? That’s where I’d really get mad.

With thousands left jobless, I wonder if Sam’s Club is going to do anything else for its once dedicated employees besides offer unemployment. Receiving a steady paycheck is necessary.

Now that so many have been left unemployed, I wouldn’t be surprised if past employees are beginning to worry about how to pay for rent or food as they scramble to find another job.

Hopefully Sam’s Club will eventually get their act together, and possibly reconsider the treatment of their employees in comparison to this first wave of closings.

I would also expect Sam’s Club will now at least consider it a good idea to alert members across other closing Sam’s Clubs with the new update: their store will be closed within the next month and you have no other option but to be left unemployed by staying with the company.

Notifying employees of their store’s closings would seem like common sense, right? To the Sam’s Club corporation: apparently not.