LUMBERTON, NC (WMBF) – The Sam's Club in Lumberton will be closed to the public beginning Jan. 26, according to a letter sent to the North Carolina Department of Commerce from Sam's Club's corporate office in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Employees of the store, located at 5085 Dawn Drive, were notified of the closure Thursday. All hourly employees of the store will be terminated effective March 16, while management employees at the facility will be terminated on April 13, the letter states.
Approximately 149 people work at the Lumberton facility. According to the statement, the employment terminations are expected to be permanent, but terminated employees have the opportunity to apply for open positions at other Sam's Clubs or Walmart facilities.
People in Robeson County were in total dismay after learning the local Sam's Club will soon close its doors for good.
"I'm still in shock and to just take it out with a limited notice of only the equivalent of 'Here… bye" and no warning basically," Amy Woods said.
"This is the only place in Lumberton they can get good gas, good merchandise, convenience for everybody," Jim Shaw said.
The Sam's Club has been in the community for over 10 years. It's one of dozens of locations its parent company, Walmart, is shutting down across the country. The closure will impact 149 employees locally and hundreds of shoppers.
"Jobs are tight and people just don't have, you know, extra money and I feel sorry for the employees," Council said.
"It's taking away consumer availability for food, clothing, electronics," Woods said. "It's very limiting what people have access to quality of life in Robeson County, by taking stores like this out one right after another."
Still, some customers say while they are sad to see it go, they're hoping something better will take its place.
"We hope something else will come in to take its place and replace those jobs and continue this great location right here on the interstate," Angela Sumner said.
There were reports of stores closing in more than 10 states Thursday, including Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Alaska, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Louisiana, Texas, Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
The company tweeted that the company reviewed their portfolio and closing clubs, which is what they call stores, to "better align our locations with our strategy. Closing clubs is never easy and we're committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition."