Front of Store
Front of Store
Walmart’s Praise for Wages Increases Turns Into Disdain After Sam’s Club Closures

by Sanders Jett-Folk


On Thursday, what started out as a strong day for Walmart quickly turned dim as reports leaked of the closure of many Sam’s Club stores, which Walmart owns. [1]

In light of the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was passed through Congress and then signed by President Donald Trump last month, Walmart announced that they were raising their starting wage to $11 an hour, and handing out bonuses of up to $1000 dollars to current employees. They also announced the expansion of their parental and maternity leave policies. [1]

President Trump quickly took to Twitter, sharing a video of a Fox Business report on Walmart’s tax cuts and adding the caption “Great news, as a result of our TAX CUTS & JOBS ACT!” [2]

President Trump’s daughter and policy advisor, Ivanka Trump, tweeted out soon after that “America is on a roll…and we’re just getting started!” [3]

But, things did not stay bright for Walmart. Later that day, reports started coming out of Sam’s Club stores being closed without warning, and employees being laid off without notice. Only later that day did Sam’s Club, which Walmart owns, confirm the closures and firings. 63 Sam’s Club stores will be closing, resulting in the losses of nearly 10,000 jobs. Some employees weren’t even aware of the situation before showing up to work on Thursday, only to find locked doors. Ten of the closing stores will be turned into distribution centers for e-commerce. [4]

The closures were met with immediate criticism. The New York Times opinion reporter Paul Krugman tweeted his disdain with how the Republican Party is handling the news, “Remember, anything good that happens is because of the tax cut, while anything bad is the result of circumstances beyond Trump/Congress’s control.” [5]

Sophomore Matthew Conway said “At first  I thought Walmart was doing a good thing by giving out bonuses. But now, it just looks like they’re trying to make a profit by ripping off their Sam’s Club employees.”

Junior Logan Guenther said “Walmart is just trying to make themselves look good by increasing wages. They’re hurting their other employees.”

Junior Danny Morris said “I still think the tax cuts legislation is good. More people will benefit from the Walmart raise increases than [those] hurt by the Sam’s Club closures.”

Despite the rocky day for the company, Walmart’s stock increased .35% by the end of the day, marking a slight increase as investors see hope in the tax cuts’ supposed benefits. [6]