Walmart has announced that it will lay off thousands of workers across the country as it closes dozens of Sam’s Club locations.
The announcement comes on the same day the retail giant announced it was raising its starting minimum wage for new employees to $11 an hour.
The company told Business Insider that 63 Sam’s Club stores will close. Some locations reportedly stopped business suddenly on Thursday without giving advance warning to employees.
The Sam’s Club locations slated to close that did not do so on Thursday are reportedly expected to shutter within the next few weeks.
“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 company said on Twitter. “Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.”
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
Several of the warehouse clubs are expected to be converted into distribution centers.
Along with the higher minimum wage, Walmart announced earlier Thursday that it would expand parental leave and give some employees one-time bonuses of up to $1,000 following the passage of the GOP tax overhaul.
Several major corporations have announced new higher wages and bonuses for employees as a result of the tax bill that slashed corporate tax rates. Comcast, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines have each announced bonuses for employees since the bill’s passage in December.
House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: ‘I worry about both sides’ of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges ‘entitlement reform’ next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (R-Wis.) praised Walmart’s gesture to raise its employees’ wages on Thursday, calling the tax bill a major help to middle-income families.
“Today marks 20 days since the Tax Cut and Jobs Act became the law of the land,” Ryan said. “Already, this new law is helping to improve the lives of middle-income families across the country. You saw the announcement from Walmart just this morning: more than a million Americans are due to receive their bonuses because of tax reform.”
He comments were made before the announced layoffs and store closings.
Ryan’s counterpart, House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D’Alesandro PelosiMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Abortion-rights group endorses Nadler in race to replace Conyers on Judiciary Trump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting MORE (D-Calif.), cast doubt on the benefits of the post-tax-reform bonuses, calling them “insignificant” compared to the benefits that corporate executives will gain under the revised tax system.
“In terms of the bonus that corporate America received, versus the crumbs that they are giving to workers to kind-of put the schmooze on, [it] is so pathetic,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday.
Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMark Mellman: History’s judgment Trump’s motorcade greeted with chants of ‘lock him up’ in NYC Treasury watchdog probes lack of tax plan analysis from Mnuchin MORE on Thursday commented on Walmart’s minimum wage hike and bonuses at the White House press briefing.
“I would also like to highlight the announcement this morning from Walmart. We want to thank them. They will be increasing their minimum wages, issuing bonuses, and expanding family benefits for over 1 million employees. Walmart is the latest company to make such an announcement and today join over 130 other companies across the nation who have already given such relief. We are up to 2 million workers that have seen special bonuses or additional wages.”
“The administration’s economic policies are a function of what we see growth and investment. Different companies will do different things — some companies will invest capital, some companies will return money to workers. Lots of things are going on in the economy and we appreciate what Walmart is doing.”
After the discussion about Walmart’s minimum wage raises and bonuses, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about the Sam’s Club closures.
“I don’t have any comment on that specific component,” Sanders said of the closures and layoffs.
“We are, again, very excited about the raises and the overall influx of investment they are putting into their company in helping over 1 million workers here in the country. Walmart is the largest employer in the country and to see them make that kind of effort to over 1 million workers is a big deal, something we are excited about and further evidence that the tax reform and tax cut packages are having the impact we’d hoped.”
This report was updated at 2:57 p.m.
This post originally appeared on The Hill