Sam’s Club, the warehouse-store unit of Walmart, is closing three King County locations as part of a 63-store retrenchment across the U.S.

Share story

Sam’s Club, the warehouse-store unit of Walmart, is closing three locations in King County as part of a 63-store retrenchment across the U.S.

The company notified the state Employment Security Department it will close stores in Seattle, Aurburn and Renton effective March 16, and will affect 495 jobs.

A Walmart official told The Associated Press that about 10 of the 63 stores will be repurposed into e-commerce distribution sites. Founded in 1983, the Sam’s Club chain had 660 locations as of October and employed about 100,000 in the U.S., according to its website.

The official said at least eight stores closed Thursday and the rest would shutter in the coming weeks. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the decision publicly.

According to ESD, the local closures will cost 168 jobs in Auburn, 179 in Renton, and 148 in Seattle.

The closure announcements came on the same day that Walmart announced it would boost its starting salary for U.S. workers to $11 an hour and hand out one-time cash bonuses.

The Walmart official said it was too soon to know how many jobs would be eliminated with the Sam’s Club closures. He said some employees would be re-hired at other Walmart locations or at the newly created e-commerce distribution sites.