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Sam's Club layoffs: 2,300 division employees to be let go, 'nimble bid' cited

Sam's Club sign outside store
Sam's Club sign outside store
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Sam’s Club layoffs are in store for roughly 2,300 division employees in the coming months in a bid to become more “nimble.” An official statement from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this week has confirmed that the retail company will be letting go of its middle managers as part of its 2014 restructuring maneuver. Yahoo Finance shares this Friday, Jan. 24, that all clubs will be having the same number of workers eliminated, regardless of how well that particular store was performing in terms of revenue.

In the biggest mass dismissal since 2010, these Sam’s Club layoffs are said to be cutting over 2 percent of the total membership club’s U.S. worker count. Employees are said to stand around 116,000 strong as of Dec. 2013. The 2,300 workers being let go is part of a new move for the Wal-Mart division to better compete with other major retailers, including Amazon Prime’s membership service and Costco Wholesale.

According to the press release on the employee cuts, a number of hourly workers and salaried assistant managers will be included to make the company more "nimble" as a whole:

“Bill Durling, an official spokesman of Sam's Club, says that a little less than half of the 2,300 cuts were aimed at salaried assistant managers. The cuts are also eliminating some hourly workers. He says that each of the clubs had roughly the same number of workers regardless of how much revenue each store generated.”

"We felt this was the right move to make sure we are positioning ourselves for growing in the future," said Durling in an interview with The AP on this bid. "We are trying to rebalance our resources in the field to make sure we are investing in the clubs that have the higher growth potential and balancing resources across the chain."

At this time, Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club owns and operates well over 600 stores in both the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and that 15 or more of the popular stores will be in the works as soon as Feb. 1, 2014.

Although these Sam’s Club layoffs are expected to be a tough blow to many workers, the company is trying their best to make the transition easy for their employees. All workers to be cut will be receiving formal notices either in person or in the mail, and will also be paid for the next two months after the announcement. In addition, these workers will be eligible for additional employment opportunities at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club in various divisions during that time.

"We're trying to treat our associates with utmost care and respect," concluded Durling.

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