Sam's Club closing Manchester storeBy DOUG ALDEN
New Hampshire Union Leader
August 09. 2017 11:13AM
MANCHESTER — Sam's Club is closing its store off South Willow Street next week.
The store at 200 John E. Devine Drive was closed Wednesday, with signs posted outside announcing the location will close permanently Aug. 18. Outside, a handful of employees redirected customers who showed up expecting to do some shopping.
"We continually review our company portfolio to make sure we are best positioned to achieve our long-term strategy," the company said in a prepared statement.
"We are grateful to our members and the community who have given us the privilege of serving them."
The store will reopen at noon today, then close permanently a week from Friday. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until it closes.
Employees didn't learn of the closing until Wednesday, when Sam's Club shut down the Manchester store and held employee meetings inside. Store management was informed Wednesday morning shortly before the meetings, said Tara Raddohl, Sam's Club spokesman.
Local leaders, including Mayor Ted Gatsas, were surprised by the news.
"I just found out about it this morning myself," Gatsas said.
Gatsas said he spoke with some of Sam's corporate representatives, who assured him the employees affected would receive up to two months of pay and assistance in finding new jobs.
"Certainly as a city we will work with those employees and the state and see if we can make sure we get them employed," Gatsas said.
About 130 people work at the store. Employees will receive 60 days paid notice, and those eligible could also receive severance pay. The company will also work with affected employees to find new jobs, Raddohl said.
Sam's Club is owned by Walmart. The Manchester Sam's Club is less than a half-mile from the Walmart Supercenter at 725 Gold St., which opened in April 2016.
"With the way things are moving in that area, I'm sure the (Sam's) space will be occupied pretty quickly," Gatsas said.