Today is the last day that three area Sam’s Club locations will be open.
Friday is the last day of business for the Renton, Auburn and Seattle locations.
Five-hundred workers there will lose their jobs.
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The company announced last week that 63 Sam’s Club locations were closing across the U.S. Some employees learned when they found a notice on locked doors.
Sam's Club held a job fair this week for employees who will be laid off.
Walmart leaders said they'd provide support and resources to the associates affected nationwide, including bonuses and 60 days of pay, as well as severance to eligible employees.
In Western Washington, locals are worried about the trickle-down effect of the closures.
The Salvation Army runs Renton’s biggest food bank and provides food for 500 to 600 clients weekly.
“Probably the majority of our fresh produce comes from Sam’s Club,” said Lt. Susan Cassin. “Sam’s Club gifts us about 19,000 pounds of food a month, which is a huge deal.”
Conversion into distribution centers
Sam's Club president and CEO John Furner said the decisions are "part of running a healthy business.”
“We need great people to help lead us into the future and we hope that many of them will stay with the company at either a local store or club,” he said in a statement.
Up to 12 of the affected stores will be turned into distribution centers for online orders with the first in Memphis, Tennessee.
Walmart, the world’s largest private employer that started Sam's Club in 1983, was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas.
There are more than 5,400 Walmart-owned locations across the country, including 597 Sam Club's.
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