Earlier on Thursday, employees at the local store were informed it would be closing on Jan. 26. Word soon got out to the public, and by 11 a.m. several news outlets had reported on not just the closure of the Jamestown store, but of dozens of stores nationwide.
The Jamestown Sam’s Club is actually located in the Town of Ellicott along the busy Fairmount Ave. corridor. It first opened in 1998 and was located at about the midway point between the city of Jamestown and village of Lakewood. Ellicott Town Supervisor Patrick McLaughlin told WRFA he was caught off guard by the news and was seeking more details from Sam’s Club. He said it’s obviously bad news because of the economic contributions the store brings, between property taxes and as a provider of jobs.
Senator Cathy Young also responded by saying she was alarmed and disheartened by the news and urged the company’s management to reconsider this decision.
Just before noon, a Walmart spokesperson sent WRFA an initial statement on the closure.
By 7 p.m., the following release was sent out to the media:
[PRESS RELEASE – WALMART CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS]
Sam’s Club Shares Changes to Club Fleet
63 Facilities Impacted, Up to 12 to Convert to eCommerce Facilities
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Jan. 11, 2018 – Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT: NYSE) today announced changes to the business unit’s U.S. real estate portfolio, with the closure of 63 clubs around the country. The company will convert up to 12 of the impacted clubs to eCommerce fulfillment centers in a move that will speed delivery of online orders, with the balance of the facilities closing over the next few weeks. Currently, Walmart and Sam’s Club operate more than 5,400 locations across the U.S.; after the actions announced today the company will have 597 clubs.
The action was taken after a thorough performance review. “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 of these converted eCommerce fulfillment centers will be located in Memphis, Tenn.
Walmart will provide support and resources to those associates who are affected, including the bonus announced today and 60 days of pay, as well as severance to those eligible.
“We need great people to help lead us into the future and we hope that many of them will stay with the company at either a local store or club,” Furner said. “Change is never easy, but we’re making these decisions as part of running a healthy business.”
The company will record a discrete charge of approximately $0.14 per share related to these actions, with the vast majority of this in its fourth quarter. Further details will be shared, as appropriate, when the company releases quarterly results on February 20, 2018.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. The company’s legal name will become Walmart Inc., effective on Feb. 1, 2018, to reflect its growing status as an omni-channel retailer. Each week, over 260 million customers and members visit our more than 11,600 stores under nearly 60 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.
This press release contains a number of forward-looking statements. Words, and variations of words, such as “will,” “expect,” “should” “may,” “estimate,” “deliver” and “target” and similar expressions are intended to identify the Company’s forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements about the discrete charge and the number of eCommerce fulfillment centers. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the Company’s forward-looking statements. Please see the Company’s risk factors, as they may be amended from time to time, set forth in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for its fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2017. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. disclaims and does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement in this press release, except as required by applicable law or regulation.
[END PRESS RELEASE]