UPDATE (11:00 P.M.) – Walmart has decided to close dozens of Sam’s Club locations across the country and that business move hits home.
Sam’s Club on East Edgewood Boulevard was closed all day on Thursday and employees and customers who were picking up prescriptions, were the only ones allowed to go inside.
6 News was told by employees and management that the store will re-open on Friday from 10-6 p.m. but only until January 26th when its doors will shut for good.
Because this move is so sudden, members are shocked.
People pulled up to the doors of Sam’s Club on East Edgewood Blvd. on Lansing’s Southside wanting to go inside.
Customers even stopped to fill up their gas tanks but to their surprise were turned away because the pumps were turned off and this South Lansing store is closed.
“When I found out this one was closing, I figured that Costco was just having a bigger impact on the market share…maybe that’s true nationwide, I don’t know,” said Sam’s Club Member Ryan Watts.
“Shocked because I love it, I come here every couple days and I really like it and I love the employees and I like the good deals,” Jill stated; a Sam’s Club Member.
Employees say they found out their Sam’s Club was closing its doors during a meeting early Thursday morning.
6 News reached out to Sam’s Club corporate offices but did not get a response and as of right now, it’s still unclear why dozens of these big-box stores are turning off the lights for good.
Sam’s Club did release a statement on social media that says:
“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. We are committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.”
This move comes on the same day Walmart, the owner of Sam’s Club, boosted its starting salary for U.S. Walmart workers to $11 an hour, handing out one-time cash bonuses to employees who don’t benefit from the pay increase, while also expanding maternity and parental leave benefits.
Whether it’s coincidence or not, members of the South Lansing Sam’s Club are stunned.
“I’m terribly sorry that they’re closing, I really enjoyed it, they gave me good service,” said Dr. Otto Graesser; a Sam’s Club Member.
“I would have expected them to make some sort of an announcement at least to their employees before today instead of leaving it as a complete shock. I wouldn’t be happy if I showed up and just found out that I had no job,” Watts stated.
When it comes to memberships, a manager told 6 News that Sam’s Club can give customers a refund but hope members will continue to shop at the Sam’s Club located in Eastwood Towne Center.
Starting on Friday, and for the following five days, everything in the South Lansing store will be 25 percent off.
A manager also says that there will also be a special offer for members regarding their memberships, but wouldn’t go into specifics on what that deal will include.
Stay with 6 News, we’ll continue to bring you updates as we learn more.
LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Giant retailer Sam’s Club is closing stores nationwide and it appears the Edgewood Boulevard store in south Lansing will also be shut down.
The store is closed right now and people are being turned away at the entrance.
Their phone message says that location will be re-opening tomorrow.
The company posted a message on its Twitter account:
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
Our sister station in Wisconsin is reporting a location there will also be open tomorrow ahead of being permanently shut down.
The Edgewood location is not listed on the Sam’s Club website right now.
Other stores in New York, Arizona, Indiana and North Carolina are also reportedly being closed.
6 News has calls into the Sam’s Club corporate offices.
The Sam’s Club located near the Eastwood Towne Center is not affected by the planned closings.
This all happens on the day Walmart, the world’s largest private employer and owner of Sam’s Club, is boosting its starting salary for U.S. workers to $11 an hour, handing out one-time cash bonuses to those who don’t benefit from the pay hike and expanding its maternity and parental leave benefits.
This story will continue to develop and will be updated online and on 6 News.