Sam’s Club locations in Renton, Auburn, Seattle abruptly close

The move comes after the company announced plans to increase worker pay and benefits.

Workers employed in Sam’s Club locations in Auburn, Renton, and Seattle were surprised to learn Thursday that their stores would be closing as part of a larger nationwide shuttering of 63 store locations, affecting 495 workers in the King County area.

An advisory from the Employment Security Department of Washington State detailed that permanent layoffs will be effective March 16 at these three locations: 168 in Auburn, 179 in Renton, and 148 in Seattle.

Although the stores are not expected to close until March, all three of these stores were closed on Jan. 11 and they have already disappeared from the store locator search on the Sam’s Club website. The stores are expected to reopen tomorrow according to messages on the stores’ voicemails.

Ten of the affected stores will be turned into distribution centers for online orders, and employees will have the opportunity to reapply for positions at these locations, according to a report by KIRO 7.

These layoffs come on the heel of a Thursday morning announcement from Walmart, which owns Sam’s Club, saying that it will be raising its starting wage from $9 to $11, giving bonuses to some employees, and expanding parental leave benefits. In addition to owning Sam’s Club, Walmart is the largest private employer in the country, and these changes affect potentially thousands of workers throughout the nation. The retailer said it would pay for the raises and expansion of benefits with the money it expects to save under the recently passed tax plan. There is currently no clear indication that the store closures and the pay raises are linked.

Sam’s Club responded to some disgruntled customers on Twitter with a statement that read, “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.”

More in News

Courtesy of Mary’s Place. Volunteers from KeyBank’s Hispanic-Latino Impact Networking Group and Key Women’s Network gave a formerly homeless family “everything they would need to start fresh in a new apartment” through the Make-a-Home program.
Volunteers needed to help displaced families

A mother and her children found a home in Renton thanks to Mary’s Place nonprofit

Staff, council scrap city-wide 20 mph plan

Neighborhoods can still request lower limits

Buses moving out of downtown

A new transit center may spur affordable home construction

From the Renton Reporter archives. The city has been sitting on the old Kaynan hangars, waiting to determine whether they’ll be demolished and reconstructed after the Airport Master Plan.
Councilmember sees loss of airport grant as a opportunity

Tricky airport planning is taking longer than expected, risking a $100K grant

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Seniors in nearby care facilities took flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane at Renton Municipal Airport, offered by Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation.
No age cap to fly

On Sunday, Aug. 11 and Monday Aug. 12 seniors from Burien, Mercer… Continue reading

Clear winners in a tight Renton primary

Pavone and Maxwell qualify with a six vote difference

Renderings of the redevelopement of 200 Mill Avenue South, taken from the new contract. Courtesy of city of Renton.
Downtown plaza promises a hotel, apartments and a park

The plans for the old City Hall location have been cemented by Cosmos and city leaders

Local church group reenacts families’ pilgrimage

This summer, over 90 youth, ages 14-18 from the Renton area re-enacted… Continue reading

Most Read