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Sam's Club closing two Indianapolis stores

January 11, 2018
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The Sam's Club at 3015 W. 86th St. is among the two Indianapolis-area locations closing in late January. (Image special to IBJ/Matthew B. King)

Two Indianapolis Sam’s Club stores are slated to close later this month, parent company Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday morning.

The stores at 10859 E. Washington St. on the east side and 3015 W. 86th St. on the northwest side will shut their doors Jan. 26, Anne Hatfield, Wal-Mart’s director of communications, told IBJ. Both pharmacies will remain open through Feb. 2.

Hatfield said parent company Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is shifting more resources into the club’s online operations. The company said it planned to close 63 Sam's locations nationwide.

“We’re looking at what is the right mix of clubs and e-commerce, because we need to be able to serve our club members,” Hatfield said. “Our club members want to come into the clubs, but we also are seeing a really big increase in our members going online.”

The 86th Street store has 152 employees and the East Washington location has 157, according to notices filed with the state. Employees will be given the opportunity to transfer to other Sam’s Club or Walmart stores, Hatfield said.

The closings of the two stores will leave the Indianapolis area with three Sam’s Club locations: 7235 E. 96th St.; 5805 Rockville Road; and 1101 Windhorst Way in Greenwood.

Both stores that are closing debuted on the same day—March 1, 1991, Hatfield said. And both sit next to Walmart Supercenters.

Walmart operates about 600 Sam’s Clubs nationwide. Hatfield she said the effort to reduce the number began under new CEO John Furner, who ascended to the top job in February 2017.

A Sam's Club in Goshen in northern Indiana also is on the closure list.

“He indicated last fall that he was going to look at the portfolio and take a look at the long-term,” Hatfield said.

Going forward, the focus will be on remodeling existing Sam’s Club stores and investing heavily in e-commerce, she said.

To meet the growing demand for online shopping, Walmart will build more fulfillment centers to serve Sam’s Club, Hatfield said.

Walmart founded Sam’s Club in 1983 and named the chain after founder Sam Walton.

A company official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of closures, told The Associated Press that about 10 Sam's Clubs will be repurposed into e-commerce distribution centers. He said it was too early to say how many people would lose their jobs since some will be placed at other Walmart locations or be rehired to the e-commerce sites.

 

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