Sam’s Club to close two Indianapolis locations by the end of the month

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Sam’s Club plans to close two Indianapolis stores, as well as a third in Goshen.

The company sent warn notices to the Department of Workforce Development, notifying the department that the stores located at 10859 East Washington Street and 3015 West 86th Street will close on Jan. 26.

The Goshen store is located at 4024 Elkhart Road. It will close on the same day as the others.

A sign on the door at the West 86th Street location said the store was closed Thursday, but would reopen at 10 a.m. Friday.

The closures will impact 152 employees at the north side location, 157 at the east side store and 110 in Goshen, bringing the total to 419 workers out of a job. Walmart owns the company and says employees have the opportunity to apply for open positions at both Walmart and Sam’s Club.

The employees will be officially let go on March 16, and management will be terminated on April 13.

The announcement comes on the same day Walmart said it was raising its starting salary to $11 per hour, giving a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000 to eligible employees and expanding maternity and parental leave benefits.

Sam’s Club issued the following statement to CBS4 regarding the closures:

We’ve made the difficult decision to close two Sam’s Club locations in Indianapolis. We don’t take this lightly and decisions like these are incredibly difficult. Our hope is that many associates at the Club will choose to stay with the company via transfer and we’ll begin working to make that happen.  Hourly associates will continue receiving compensation for 60 days while they look for other opportunities in nearby Clubs or Walmart stores. If associates haven’t transferred at the end of the 60 days, if eligible, they will receive severance.

The company announced the closures to its employees with this letter:

Team,

Over the past year, we’ve talked about how our business must change in order to be positioned for the future of retail. We’re committed to creating a new and better Sam’s Club that offers more value and a great experience to our members. When I shared our strategy in October, I said we’d make the choices it will take to get there. Today, I want to share some important decisions we’ve made.

Transforming our business means managing our real estate portfolio – we need a strong fleet of clubs that are fit for the future. 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. We’ve decided to right-size our fleet and better align our locations with our strategy. We will be closing some clubs, and we notified them today. We’ll convert some of them into eCommerce fulfillment centers – to better serve the growing number of members shopping with us online and continue scaling the SamsClub.com business. The first of these conversions will be in Memphis, Tennessee.

We know these decisions impact people we care about deeply – our associates and their families, as well as our members and their neighbors – and we did not make them lightly. A Sam’s Club is a place of community and memories, and we are so appreciative of our associates who have worked hard over the years to serve our members. Our immediate focus will be on helping those impacted by today’s news. We will work to place as many associates as possible in new roles at nearby locations, and we’ll provide them with support, resources, and severance pay to those eligible. Many of our associates and members will move to nearby clubs. If you work in such a club, please make them feel welcome.

The steps being announced today will help us serve our members better and grow. We’ll be able to invest more in eCommerce, remodels, and in-club technology. We’ll also be able to lean into the areas members care about most, including fresh food, Member’s Mark, and exciting merchandise. By narrowing our focus and simplifying what we do, we’ll be able to provide better items, a better experience, and a more valuable membership. In the coming weeks, we’ll share some exciting steps we’re taking to become even more special to our members.

Change is never easy, but we’re making these decisions from a position of strength. As you’ve seen in our recent quarterly results, our traffic and comps have improved, and that’s because of the work you do to serve our members. We have momentum, and now is the time to accelerate our transformation efforts. Thank you.

John (President and CEO – Sam’s Club)

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