Walmart confirmed Thursday that it is closing dozens of Sam's Club warehouse stores across the country - a move that seems sure to cost jobs - on the same day it announced that it was boosting its starting salary for us workers and handing out one-time bonuses to others.
Audio will be available later today. Walmart is the first retailer in the S&P 500 to raise wages citing the tax law, and economists say its across-the-board pay increases could pressure other companies to follow suit.
The store was closed Thursday to tell employees about the impending closure.
Walmart also said Thursday it would expand its parental-leave policies for hourly workers and begin providing $5,000 in aid to workers adopting a child.
Only late in the day - in a reply to a question someone asked on Twitter - did Sam's Club say that 53 stores were closing and 10 being converted to fulfillment centers.
In a note, Sam's Club president and CEO John Furner said that there were stores hindering business at other locations, or that were operating in areas that were not seeing the population growth that had been expected.
At the time, Target's move prompted some observers to predict Walmart would react immediately.
Walmart will also pay a one-time cash bonus to eligible employees of up to $1,000. But most employees are expected to get a few hundred dollars. Walmart employees previously started at $9 an hour, with a bump up to $10 after completing a training program.
The federal minimum hourly wage has been $7.25 since 2009.
As far back as 2016, the percentage of U.S. households that only pay for Prime membership more than doubled over the previous four years, from 7.1% in 2013 to 16.2% in 2016.
"The one-time bonus I'll be getting won't help me long-term", Gems said. "We need $15 and full-time to be able to support our families".
Walmart is now the world's largest company by revenue and the largest private employer in the world, with 2.3 million employees. Walmart said in the press release that laid-off employees will receive 60 days' worth of pay. Factor in the one-off bonuses the company is paying to some staff, at a total cost of $400 million, and the Beast of Bentonville is giving back only around one-third of what it could save in tax. For 2016, the company reported $485.87 billion in annual revenue on profits of $13.64 billion.