Metro Atlanta Sam's Club closes without notice; stores close across the country

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But on the same day they announced the wage increase and bonuses, Walmart also announced that it would be closing about 50 Sam's Clubs stores.

Sam's Club officials confirmed that 63 stores were abruptly closed nationwide.

In Houston, several stores closed and the employees said it was without notice, telling reporters there that they only learned of the closure when they arrived to work.

The chain will close three stores in the Indianapolis, Indiana area on January 26, affecting a total of 419 workers, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Walmart CEO and President Doug McMillon credited the Trump administration's major tax reform in December for the new employee benefits.

Business Insider estimates that as many as 11,000 people will lose their jobs as a result of the store closures.

Earlier in the day, Walmart had cited the sweeping Republican tax overhaul that will save it money in announcing the higher hourly wages, one-time bonuses and expanded parental benefits that will affect more than a million hourly workers in the U.S.

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"After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we've made a decision to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy", the company responded via Twitter.

Walmart also announced today that it would be raising hourly wages for employees to $11.

In Louisiana, a Sam's Club in Baton Rouge that employs 176 workers was scheduled to close on Thursday, with hourly staff being terminated as of March 16 and managers as of April 13. "We will be closing some clubs, and we notified them today".

The new tax law lowers the USA corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, among other things, and McMillon said Wal-Mart was "in the early stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders". They're increasing their paid maternity leave for full-time hourly employees to 10 weeks of full pay.

A manager at the Winterville store, who identified himself only as "Mike" said the store was open Thursday, but he would not confirm its status beyond that, instead referring questions to Walmart corporate headquarters.

"As the labor market tightens, we expect to see wages going up, and if the tax reform provides them additional income, they can then use that to compete for workers by paying more", said Jones.

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