Sam's Club abruptly and permanently closes 53 stores

Employees claim they weren't told until today

Sam's Club confirmed Wednesday that it abruptly closed 63 stores across the country on Thursday.

According to Sam's Club spokeswoman Amy Wyatt-Moore, 10 of those 63 stores will reopen as eCommerce fulfillment centers, the first of which will open in Memphis, Tennessee.

According to the company's Twitter account, pharmacies will remain open at the impacted stores for two more weeks, the company tweeted. 

It's not clear which Sam's Club stores had been closed —shuttered stores were removed from the company's website on Thursday — but news outlets in BaltimoreBuffaloHoustonIndianapolis, MemphisMilwaukee, Palm Beach County (Florida)New Jersey and Tampa confirmed that stores had closed in the area.

Also Thursday, — the owner and operator of Sam's Club — announced it would raise minimum pay to $11 per hour and give employees one-time bonuses of $1,000. Walmart attributed the pay increase to the recent tax reform bill.

According to our sister station in Cincinnati, WCPO,  employees at area Sam's Club said they had no notice of the closure before receiving a letter in the mail. 

Customers took to social media with questions about why their local Sam's Club stores were shuttered. Some demanded refunds for their Sam's Club memberships, which cost between $45 and $100. The official Sam's Club Twitter account replied to some questions with a brief statement.

Employers must give workers 60 days notice before closing a plant or issuing mass layoffs, according to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Sam's Club posted one such alert, referred to as a WARN notice, to the Indiana state government's website. That notice says three locations in the state were slated to be closed on January 26. The move will impact 419 employees.

Several other states where CNNMoney has confirmed stores will be closing did not have such notices posted as of Thursday afternoon.

It's not clear how many stores have closed. Local news outlets across the country reported the closures happened without notice.

A reporter with KHOU11 in Houston said via Twitter that employees at one local store showed up to work and learned the location was shutting down. reported multiple locations in upstate New York have closed. Fox 13 in Memphis said its local store has permanently shut its doors, and that employees only learned of that Thursday. Another report from WFAB says a location in Baton Rouge was shut down.

This story will updated as more information becomes available.