MADISON, Wis. - The Sam’s Club on Madison’s west side will be permanently closing at the end of the month.
The store, at 7050 Watts Road, is closed Thursday but will be reopening Friday at 10 a.m., managers told News 3.
The store will permanently close Jan. 26.
Managers were not able to comment on why the store was closed Thursday or why it will be permanently closing.
Carrie McKnight, senior director of Sam's Cub Corporate Communications, said in a news release that the company will be closing 63 clubs around the country.
Sam's Club will be converting up to 12 of the impacted clubs into eCommerce fulfillment centers in an effort to speed up delivery of online orders. The company did not say which locations would be included in the conversion.
“Transforming our business means managing our real estate portfolio and Walmart needs a strong fleet of Sam’s Clubs that are fit for the future,” said John Furner, president and CEO of Sam’s Club.
WDJT in Milwaukee reports the Sam's Club in West Allis will also be closing Jan. 26.
Sam's Club responded Thursday to customer's tweets online, saying, "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."
Employees tell News 3 they were informed of the closure Thursday morning.
The employees said they will be getting severance pay for 60 days after the store closes unless they work for Walmart, which is the same corporation.
They also said they were given the option to stop working immediately or continue working for the next two weeks for double their normal pay.
Second Harvest Foodbank said it has had an excellent relationship with Sam’s Club for a number a years, and it will be impacted by the closure since it receives both donated and purchased products from the store.
The closures also affect stores in New Jersey, upstate New York, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, according to CBS News.
Second Harvest Foodbank said it has had an excellent relationship with Sam’s Club for a number a years, and it will be impacted by the closure since it receives both donated and purchased products from the store. Second Harvest relies on the club for $500,000 pounds of food every year.
"When you take a look at the numbers they are actually five when it comes to the source of food that we receive when you combine the food that they donate plus the food we purchase from them they are a significant source of food for us," said Kristopher Tazelaar.
The Foodbank is looking for partners to replace the club. While they don’t know what the total impact will be to the people they serve, Tazelarr said they will see a direct impact on their fresh produce.
"That is not something that is easily replaced. The hunt is on to find out how we are going to replace that. We have confidence that other retailers will stand up, but it's going to be a challenge," he said.
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