Walmart is shuttering 63 Sam’s Club stores around the country, an announcement that came shortly after the company said it would be rewarding its employees with up to $1,000 in bonuses because of the new tax cuts that were just signed into law.
Some of the stores were closed Thursday, including several in the Houston area, and employees were not told of Walmart’s decision until they arrived to work to find several stores hadn’t been opened, according to Business Insider.
Sam’s Club is owned by Walmart.
“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 said on Twitter.
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
Walmart did not return a request for comment.
Ten Sam’s Club locations will become e-commerce distribution centers, an official with Walmart told Business Insider. The other stores will not close for several weeks.
Walmart announced Thursday morning it would be increasing its starting wage for hourly workers to $11 an hour, and expand maternity and paternity leave benefits. The company also said it would be giving employees a one-time bonus of up to $1,000, and said the amount would vary based on a worker’s length of service.
The Arkansas-based company attributed its additional benefits to the new tax bill, which was passed by the GOP-led Congress and signed into law by President Trump last month.
During Thursday’s White House press briefing, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders praised Walmart’s decision, but did not weigh in on the Sam’s Club closures.
“Walmart is the largest employer in the country,” Sanders told reporters. “And to see them do and make that kind of effort to over a million workers is a big deal, something we are excited about, and I think further evidence that the tax reform and tax cuts packages are having an impact that we had hoped.”