Two Sam's Club stores in the Tri-State closed Thursday without notice to the public or workers.
The Loveland store on Fields-Ertel Road and the Oakley store on Marburg Avenue both permanently closed Thursday, according to spokesperson Anne Hatfield.
Both locations were removed from the corporate website Thursday.
Pharmacies at both locations will remain open through Jan. 26, Hatfield said.
After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we’ve decided to close a series of clubs and 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.
— Sam's Club (@SamsClub) January 11, 2018
Employees commented on WCPO's Facebook page and said they had no notice of the closure before receiving a letter in the mail.
Also Thursday, Walmart -- the owner and operator of Sam's Club -- announced it would raise minimum pay to $11 per hour and give employees one-time bonuses of $1,000. Walmart attributed the pay increase to the recent tax reform bill.
What about refunds?
Four Cincinnati-area Sam's Clubs remain open: Springdale, Western Hills, Withamsville, and Florence, Ky. All memberships and prescriptions will be honored at those stores.
However, while customers will be able to use their membership cards at other area Sam's Club stores, some members are already grumbling about the distance that will involve.
Margeret Yanchek of Warren County said "we just renewed our membership to the Fields Ertel store (Loveland), so no way will I be driving to a store farther away."
For her and other shoppers in the Kings Island vicinity, their 10 minute drive to Sam's will now be a 30 minute drive to either Tri-County or Withamsville.
Mike Jackson of Oakley is also unhappy, telling us he just renewed his membership, and the Oakley store closing means his 5 minute drive will now be a 30 minute drive to the Western Hills/North Bend Road store.
Hatfield said Sam's Club members who find the nearest Sam's Club too far to visit can request a refund at an open store or by calling the chain's customer service number.
WCPO will update this story.
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