Bulk membership chain Sam's Club abruptly closed some locations across the country Thursday, including, apparently, two in the Tampa and Orlando areas.

  • Sam's Club quietly closed 63 stores nationwide
  • A store in Casselberry and a store in Tampa were closed Thursday
  • Sam's Club owner Walmart announced wage hikes on same day

Workers and customers alike reported finding out about the store closures when they visited the locations.

The Orlando-area Sam's Club store at 299 Fern Park Blvd. in Casselberry has been removed from the Sam's Club website, as has the store in Tampa on 5135 S. Dale Mabry Hwy.

We called both stores and heard a voice message telling us the stores were now closed and that they would reopen "tomorrow."

Walmart issued a news release Thursday, saying the company closed the stores around the country after a thorough performance review, which is what it tweeted to concerned members on the Sam's Club Twitter account Thursday:

Sam's Club is also posting links to its Club Finder and also a section of the website where members can cancel their Sam's Club memberships.

Walmart said it will convert up to 12 of the closed stores into eCommerce fulfillment centers to help speed online orders. The first of these new centers will be in Memphis, Tenn.

No word on whether the Fern Park or Tampa locations will be part of this conversion.

Walmart says it will support those associates affected by the closures with 60 days of pay and a bonus, plus a severance for those who are eligible.

Walmart, the company that owns Sam's Club, announced Thursday that is was raising starting pay for hourly workers, handing out cash bonuses and expanding some benefits for Walmart store and Sam's Club workers.

This sign was posted Thursday at the Sam's Club on S. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. (Laurie Davison, staff)

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.