Moline, Illinois - Updated:
The warehouse club announces abruptly shrinks its footprint across the country.
That will leave thousands of people out of work.
The city of Moline only learned of the pending closure of the Moline Sam's Club Thursday morning.
Moline Mayor Stephanie Acri says the store's last day is January 26 and the closure in Moline will impact 155 workers.
She's also told the company will have a 60-day transition period before workers are laid off or moved to other stores.
Moline Economic Development Director Ray Forsythe adds the hourly employees will be terminated March 16.
Forsythe says he reached out to local management but was unable to reach anyone Thursday, as the store was closed. The city has contacted Retail Strategies, its retail consultant to discuss next steps. The property is owned by Walmart Corporation.and he is hopeful the company will work with the city to re-purpose the property.
Forsythe says he couldn’t provide specific numbers of how much the city gets from tax receipts from Sam’s Club, but they are in the top tens of tax generators for the city.
Forsythe says Sam’s Club received no tax incentives to come to town. The property was developed by Menards.
During the conversation with a Walmart executive, the parent company of Sam's Club, Acri says no reason for the closure was given.
Even though there are a few more weeks before the store shuts its doors, customers were turned away Thursday and told to come back Friday.
For one customer, he says the closure is unexpected.
"We never had any problem with like I say the products or the service." Member Steve Debacker said, "It's a big box store, so you're not going to have a helping hand in every aisle but at the same time, it was convenient to use, and we like saving the money."
Acri says with the current economic climate she's hopeful the employees will be able to find other jobs in the area.
This location only opened in 2014.
Sam's Club in Moline is closing in 60 days.
"I just checked the information and yes, as you said, the Club will be closing in 60 days," a representative from Sam's Club confirmed to Local 4 News and Fox 18 News. "Closing clubs is never easy and we're committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition."
A look at the locations on the Sam's Club website no longer lists Moline, and a link to the store's page now generates an error.
A second representative reached by phone said the Moline location is one of about 270 stores nationwide to close in an attempt "to better align clubs with locations." She said the closings "represent the best strategy," adding she didn't have information on how many people worked there but said it was "a lot."
This is a developing story. Stay tuned to Local 4 News, Fox 18 News and OurQuadCities.com for updates.
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