Hours after a tweet from Walmart’s official account celebrating the new package of tax cuts, Walmart closed dozens of Sam’s Club stores without notice.
At approximately 8 AM Eastern Time on Thursday morning, @WalmartNewsroom tweeted a graphic saying that all Walmart and Sam’s Club employees would now be making a starting wage of $11/hour, getting expanded parental leave and maternity policies, and would get a one-time bonus, crediting President Trump’s corporate tax cuts signed into law late last year.
— Walmart Newsroom (@WalmartNewsroom) January 11, 2018
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted the graphic, saying the tax cuts were “lifting millions of hardworking Americans up.”
Huge news! Truly amazing and inspiring to witness the tax cuts lifting millions of hardworking Americans up. https://t.co/lHvlcOQw9H
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 11, 2018
However, after just six hours following the Walmart tweet, Business Insider reported that Walmart was closing 63 of its Sam’s Club stores in 17 states and firing thousands of employees. According to Business Insider, many of those employees didn’t know about the closures until they showed up for work in the morning and found that the doors were locked.
While ten of the affected locations will reportedly be turning into e-commerce centers and workers at those stores will have the chance to re-apply for their jobs, the remaining stores will only be open for several more weeks before closing down permanently.
“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,” the official Sam’s Club account tweeted. “Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.”
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. Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.
— Sam's Club (@SamsClub) January 11, 2018
Walmart continues to be one of the most profitable companies in the world, ranking #1 on the Fortune 500 list with more than $485 billion in revenue in 2017. The #2 company, Berkshire Hathaway, made $223 billion. The retail giant’s stock is bullish, jumping significantly prior to Black Friday and staying high ever since.
Other large corporations that benefited from Republicans’ significant corporate tax cuts have cut jobs in the wake of the bill’s passage. AT&T, which lauded the new tax cuts, is laying off 4,600 workers. Telecom titan Comcast cut 500 jobs in December.
Matthew P. Robbins is a freelance economics contributor covering wages, budgets, and taxes. He lives in Chicago, Illinois with his husband and two cats.