NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Multiple Sam's Club locations across the country closed without warning Thursday, with some employees saying they received notification that the closures will be permanent by the end of the month.
In Hampton Roads, the Sam's Club located at Little Creek Marketplace off Tidewater Drive in Norfolk was closed. Calling the store gives you a recorded message saying the location would reopen on Friday, January 12, with no further explanation.
The City of Norfolk confirmed the store will permanently close, and an employee shared a letter with 13News Now that stated the store would shut down for good on January 26.
Some employees told our sister station KHOU 11 News in Houston that they only learned of the closure as they arrived for work early Thursday.
Online, the Sam's Club website has already removed the closed stores, with the link to the Norfolk location currently displaying an error message.
The Norfolk Sam's Club has only been open since November 2015.
Norfolk spokesperson Lori Crouch tells 13News Now that the city was not made aware of the closing ahead of time. She said a representative with economic development is speaking with the store manager.
Crouch added that the city has Norfolk Works and other resources that can help employees find work if they are unable to relocate within Walmart or Sam's Club.
According to Walmart, 12 impacted Sam's Clubs will be converted to eCommerce fulfillment center. This will hlp make speedy delivery and online orders, with the balance of the facilities closing over the next few weeks.
“Transforming our business means managing our real estate portfolio and Walmart needs a strong fleet of Sam’s Clubs that are fit for the future,” said John Furner, president and CEO of Sam’s Club. “We know this is difficult news for our associates and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations. Our focus today has been on those associates and their communities, and communicating with them.”
The first eCommerce fulfillment center will be in Memphis, Tennessee.
On Twitter, Sam's Club has issued a statement that the decision was made to permanently close a series of locations:
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.— Sam's Club (@SamsClub) January 11, 2018
In another Tweet, Sam's Club said people will continue to pick up their prescriptions for at least the next two weeks:
Pharmacies will stay open for at least two weeks, and we will work with each state’s Board of Pharmacy to help guide this transition.— Sam's Club (@SamsClub) January 11, 2018
The news comes the same day Sam's parent company, Walmart, announced raises for some store employees.
Sam's Club has not issued a full list of stores that are closing.
KHOU 11 in Houston contributed to this report
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