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Wal-Mart will lay off 2,300 Sam's Club workers

By Elizabeth A. Harris

New York Times

LAST UPDATED: 10:32 a.m. HST, Jan 25, 2014

Wal-Mart announced Friday that about 2,300 Sam's Club employees would be laid off, the latest in a drumbeat of retail job cuts to start the new year.

Bill Durling, a Sam's Club spokesman, said the layoffs would target a combination of salaried assistant managers and hourly employees. Certain positions, like telephone attendants, will be eliminated.

"We realized we had pretty much the same club structure whether a club had $50 million in revenue or $100 million in revenue," Durling said of the distribution of assistant managers. "What we're trying to do is balance our resources."

Sam's Club has about 116,000 employees, Durling said, and the job cuts will affect about four employees a store. Employees will have 60 paid days to find another job at the company. If they are not successful, they will be eligible for severance.

Sam's Club will be opening at least 15 stores in the next fiscal year, which begins in February.

This week, Target announced it would cut approximately 475 jobs. The retailer, which employs 361,000 people, has been roiled by an enormous breach of customer data that has affected as many as 110 million people.

Just last week, J.C. Penney announced job cuts of its own, saying it would close 33 stores and cut about 2,000 jobs. This was widely seen as a symptom of that company's continued struggles, after several tumultuous years of flux in its management and its strategy.

Even Macy's, which has been performing better than many of its competitors in recently months, announced a round of layoffs at the beginning of the year. It said the company would lay off 2,500 employees, despite relatively solid holiday sales results.

Wal-Mart, the parent company of Sam's Club, has not yet released its holiday sales figures, but its recent financial performance has been underwhelming. Walmart beat analyst expectations in the third quarter, but the company trimmed its earnings forecast, saying continued economic difficulties among its core customers were affecting the retailer's bottom line.

Excluding fuel, sales at Sam's Club stores open for at least a year were up only 1.1 percent during the third quarter, the most recent period Wal-Mart has reported.

At Sam's Club's main rival, however, data for the holiday season showed that Costco enjoyed a healthy sales period.

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HD36 wrote:
I thought the economy was in a recovery due to the $85 billion a month stimulus known as Quantitative Easeing, or QE? Nobel prize winner Ben Bernacke, former head of the Federal Reserve said QE would create jobs. There's no evidence of that. Where did more than $3 trillion dollars of QE go? It hasn't brought main street more discretionary income 90% of households have less net worth than they did before they started QE. The Federal Reserve has been lowering interest rates continuously since the 1987 stock market crash. Instead of letting the economy restructure, they've blown up another bubble. The internet bubble crash in 2000, led to Greenspan lowering rates even more to create the housing and finance bubble in 2008. Now, 2014, and rates are at historical lows, we have the mother of all bubbles searching for a pin. When this next bubble pops, and I believe it will happen before Obama leaves office, it will make the 2008 crises look like a Sunday picnic. This bubble has been blowing up for over 32 years and is the largest in economic history. The ramifications will be global. I'm talking about a soverign debt bubble in the US Treasury Bond market with a simultaneous curency collapse. It can go two way though. The Fed may reverse course on their taper an print even more money via QE and Janet Yellen, being even more dovish than Bernacke will reverse course and increase QE to $100 billion a month. If they continue to taper, say another $10 billion you'll see a all the bubbles they've tried to reinflate going down. ie. stocks and real estate. Interest rates will spike, and the big banks will lose billions. The best course for this country is to admit to the world that we can't pay them back and default on our obligations like we did on August 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window. Politicians and big government wouldn't surivive with that option so I believe they will print money to pay back the debt. As creditors get wise and realize they're getting back dollars that don't have the same purchasing power, they'll stop playing the currency devaluation game and dump the dollar. When foreignors lose faith and confidence in the dollar's purchasing power, even the manipulated CPI won't be able to hide double digit inflation. The only way to stop the path towards hyperinflation is to elect a president similar to Eisenhower, and have a Federal Reserve President similar to William McChesney Martin and/or Paul Volker. The only person I see on the horizon is Rand Paul.
on January 25,2014 | 05:08AM
onevoice82 wrote:
I bet you have a stock pile of gold and you believe that Kennedy was shot by multiple shooters...
on January 25,2014 | 07:44AM
HD36 wrote:
I'll be you have a stock pile of US Treasury Bonds and that all we have to do is Increase the amount of QE to $100 billion a month to lower the unemployment rate to 6% and increase the GDP to 3%. I also think you believe that the answer to all economic problems can be solved by the government.
on January 25,2014 | 12:13PM
soundofreason wrote:
on January 25,2014 | 08:06AM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
So the sky is falling and set to hit ground before Obama leaves office? Really? Sounds like you're actually hoping for another depression to take place because you disagree with the Fed's current QE policies. You advocate defaulting on the nation's debt. Now that would be the quickest way to cause another depression.
on January 25,2014 | 05:48PM
1local wrote:
minimum wage and healthcare will affect the non-union employee. Minimum wage Union employees make a great living with tips. Be ready for inflation its just around the corner - consumer spending will soon evaporate - joblessness will soon touch many...
on January 25,2014 | 06:04AM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Obama loves poor people. That's why he's creating so many of them.
on January 25,2014 | 11:00AM
HD36 wrote:
Right. The more people reliant on the government, the more they control.
on January 25,2014 | 12:14PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
now that's some right wing republican party philosophy there.
on January 25,2014 | 05:49PM
Ipo_Mom wrote:
Look at how Costco treats its employees. Does it take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you treat your employees well, they will want to do a better job because of more loyalty to their company? Loyal employees make good business. Short-sighted business execs don't get it.... Ever compare the time it takes to check out at Costco vs. check out at Sam's Club? One of the few reasons why I have kept my Sam's Club membership is that they have a better selection of beer and wine, which I need after waiting a long time in the Sam's check-out line.
on January 25,2014 | 06:28AM
onevoice82 wrote:
check out also the clothes the Sams Club employees wear and the amount of tattoos! Costco is classy, efficient, and a tightly run organization that runs like a swiss watch.
on January 25,2014 | 07:47AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
SAMs is WalMart. Nuff said.
on January 25,2014 | 12:59PM
soundofreason wrote:
Agreed. It's almost like they're on commission for what they ring up. Which kind of makes my point. This is ALL self solving without government intervention. When people get tired of poor service they will go to the stores that provide good service and pay their employees well to DO that level of service. The rest will go away due to lack of performance.
on January 25,2014 | 08:09AM
HD36 wrote:
Let's face it, Sam's Club and Walmart are the best jobs these people can get. If they could get a better job at Costco they would.
on January 25,2014 | 12:16PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
"These people"?
on January 25,2014 | 12:59PM
krusha wrote:
The real reason why they are cutting workers is so they can give their owners and executives hefty bonuses and raises. The low workers on their totem pole usually are the first to get their benefits cut while the guys on top reap the rewards of their hard work. I bet those telephone attendant jobs are now going to get outsourced to India...
on January 25,2014 | 06:35AM
onevoice82 wrote:
The real reason is membership numbers, period. You sound like a union employee.
on January 25,2014 | 07:48AM
krusha wrote:
Explain why you don't hear about Costco laying off employees?
on January 25,2014 | 03:36PM
soundofreason wrote:
You're behind the times. It's the Philippines now at $5.00 per hour. Our policies are exporting more and more jobs.
on January 25,2014 | 08:10AM
HD36 wrote:
You have these people called investors. Who buy stock in Walmart. When sales are down, which they were last quarter, and cost of goods rises, profit margins shrink and so do earnings. The CEO is resposible to the owners of the business, (the share holders) to increase profits. If sales are down, and you can't raise prices, the next step is cutting employees. Yes the system is rigged in a way because the CEO and others usually have large stock options, but again, if they don't do their job they get fired by the board of directors.
on January 25,2014 | 12:22PM
9ronboz wrote:
Obamanomics and all the stimulus at work
on January 25,2014 | 07:19AM
SteveToo wrote:
Hey Mr. Obama, tell me again how the economy is getting better. The marked dropped 350 points Friday.
on January 25,2014 | 08:52AM
awahana wrote:
I love all the lolos posting here with irrelevant topics, like Obama and conspiracy theory n-u-t-j-o-b-s.
I used to recommend and take all my family and friends to Sams, saying that they had better selection, and prices, but that all changed.
Now they are so hard up for money, they REFUSE ANY electronics returns after 90 days. Even refusing items that are NOT on their 90 day return policy.
Costco and Amazon wins.
Feel bad for the layoff workers, but they'll land at better places.
Sams s-u-c-k-s.
on January 25,2014 | 08:56AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
One thing I'd like to bring up regarding Sam's Club is that the prices are often the same as other retail stores or even at times more. Here is an example of a recent trip to Sam's Club. The price of ahi poke is about 13 to 14 dollars a pound. This week's price on ahi poke at Foodland is 10. I also often find that the price of ground beef is cheaper at Foodland when there is a sale on that item. The price of a box of squid is the same. The price of butter fish is the same. The price of scallops is the same. The price of their small cakes cost the same as any neighborhood bakery. The price of their sushi has gone up and the quality is sorely lacking. Many of the sushi do not sell as a result of their overinflated price and when they are reduced in price they still do not sell out. They need to do a price reduction on this item alone. And the list goes on. On the other hand, during this holiday season, Costco had some decent sales. Sam's Club really did not offer much in the form of holiday sales.
on January 25,2014 | 10:34AM
islandsun wrote:
Good point even Costco offers more selection and if you can stand going to the Kalihi store.
on January 25,2014 | 04:59PM
Maipono wrote:
Hey Guv, let's raise the minimum wage, then we can increase the unemployment payments and food stamps too! That should complete the Guv and president's vision for Hawaii and all of America that we all be dependent on government!
on January 25,2014 | 11:13AM
Papakolea wrote:
I don't think the lose of these jobs is related to the economic cycles as much as it is a structural change in the retail industry. A lot of people are purchasing through Amazon and EBay, which doesn't require a retail storefront, thus saving on all the associated costs. Bricks and mortar retailers are forced to cut costs wherever they can to compete with online retailers. It's sad that people are losing their jobs but it's unfortunately a reality of the times.
on January 25,2014 | 11:56AM
HD36 wrote:
January 10th the Decembr jobs report came out. The estimate was 200,000 new jobs created. The actual number came out at 74,000. The lowest in 3 years and 50% of those were temp jobs. An imaginary recovey does not create real jobs.
on January 25,2014 | 01:03PM
lynnh wrote:
Seems like every poster in here did not read the story. Either that, or you are all Wal-Mart phobics who only want to bash a company that has been trashed by the liberal media for years. Let me ask you all this: WHY DID NOT ONE OF YOU MENTION THE OTHER FOUR RETAILERS MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE THAT ARE DOING THE EXACTLY THE SAME THING!!!!!!! Liberal Hippocrates!
on January 25,2014 | 01:12PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
The US market apparently is not big enough to support both Sam's and Costco ... and the customers are making a choice.
on January 25,2014 | 05:53PM
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