Sam's Club locations to close in Henrietta, Greece
Henrietta/Greece, N.Y. (WHAM) - The popular retail store Sam's Club will be closing its locations in the Rochester area by the end of the month.
Henrietta Town Supervisor Stephen Schultz confirmed the reports Thursday.
"From a town standpoint, we're disappointed but understand that the store has been losing money," Henrietta Town Supervisor Stephen Schultz said.
Two security guards were posted inside the entrance at the Henrietta location Thursday morning. When asked about the reason for the closure, a manager replied that there were "associate meetings" on Thursday.
"As soon as we come in, the manager told us the store's going to be closed completely," said Hector Baez, who works as a vendor at Sam's.
Greece Town officials said they were notified of the closure Thursday morning. Both stores are scheduled to be closed on January 26.
There are 144 employees at the Greece location and 148 at the Henrietta location who will be losing their jobs.
"I can't believe how they just decided to close their doors and not let anybody know," said Club member Debora Liestman. "I've been coming to Sam's forever. I can't even tell you how upset I am. This place is always busy."
Liestman brought her grocery list but will have to find someplace else to go.
"I think today, I'll probably do all my shopping at Walmart and Tops," she said. "I'm going to end up paying at least $200 or more than what I would pay here."
Members want to get their money back.
"Sort of angry," said another Club member, Sue Zona. "I'm sure they had to know three weeks ago, when they were taking my money, that they were about to close."
“There was no warning," Liestman said.
A letter issued to employees states that the last work day on payroll for active associates will be April 13, 2018.
Sam's Club has been in Greece for about 25 years. It's closing is yet another hit for the plaza - and the town, as a whole - as there are already a few vacancies. The former Tops in that plaza remains up for sale.
Town officials remain optimistic.
"I think it is a real surprise," said Gary Tajkowski, director of Development Services in the Town of Greece. "Plazas go through changes ...it's the same in any town."
"This decision is based on analysis of our business and is not a reflection on the associates or the management team in your Sam's Club," a letter sent to Sam's Club employees states.
Additional questions about benefits, severance and are being directed to Toni Budrow at (479) 402-5078.
Sam's is owned by Walmart. The two Sam's locations closing in Rochester are among the 63 stores being shut down nationwide.
A statement released by Walmart says the decision to close the stores came after what the company called thorough performance reviews. "Transforming our business means managing our real estate portfolio, and Walmart needs a strong fleet of Sam's Clubs that are fit for the future," Sam's Club President and CEO John Furner said in the statement. "We know this is difficult news for our associates and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations. Our focus today has been on those associates and their communities, and communicating with them."
According to multiple reports, the company will refund membership fees.