Walmart closing dozens of Sam's Club locations in US, including some in California

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Walmart is abruptly closing dozens of Sam's Club locations across the U.S., including some in California. (Shutterstock)

Walmart is abruptly closing dozens of Sam's Club locations across the U.S., including some in California.

A total of 63 Sam's Clubs will be closed over the next week, with some shut already.

A company official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the decision publicly said about 10 are being repurposed into e-commerce distribution centers. He said it was too early to say how many people would lose their jobs since some will be placed at other Walmart locations or be rehired to the e-commerce sites.

Four California stores will close Jan. 26 -- that includes locations in Industry, San Fernando, Stanton and Sacramento.

There are still 29 stores operating in California. Walmart officials told Eyewitness News that there is potential for some employees to transfer to different locations. The company will pay for 60 days after the closure, and those that are eligible will receive severance.

On Twitter, Sam's Club responded to people's queries by saying, "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."

The closures come on the same day Walmart announced it is raising its starting salary to $11 an hour and giving a $1,000 bonus to eligible employees.

Walmart will also expand benefits for parents.

Rising wages reflect a generally tight labor market. The conversion of stores to e-commerce sites also illustrates how companies are trying to leverage their store locations to better compete against Amazon as shopping moves online.

Online retailers typically pay warehouse employees who pack and ship orders more than store jobs pay. Job postings at an Amazon warehouse in Ohio, for example, offer a starting pay of $14.50 an hour.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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