Just hours after raising its starting minimum wage for new employees to $11 an hour, Walmart said on Thursday it will lay off thousands of US workers as it closes 63 Sam's Club locations.
Several of these are expected to be converted into distribution centres. "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 retailer said on Twitter. "Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition."
In addition to boosting the minimum hourly wage, Walmart is to dish out bonuses of up to $1,000. The company, which has more than one million US hourly employees, is making the move on the back of President Trump’s corporate tax rate cut from 35% to 21%. “Today, we are building on investments we’ve been making in associates, in their wages and skills development,” says Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. “It’s our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families.”
He adds that Trump's corporate tax cut, "gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the US.”