>> For employees at Walmart Thursday, some good news and some bad news. The good news, America's largest employer announced it was giving its workers a raise. The bad news, on Thursday the company also announced it would be shuttering multiple Sam's Club discount stores and laying off thousands of workers.
Starting in February, entry level employees at Walmart will earn a minimum of $11 an hour. Others may get cash bonuses of up to $1,000 and the company also announced expanded maternity and paternal leave benefits. Walmart says the staff payouts, which the company says will benefit over a million employees are the result of the recent US tax overhaul as the company is expected to see massive savings.
And the President wasted no time in taking credit for the raises. But there's more at work here. Reuter's retail correspondent, Nandita Bose.>> They're saying they want to give what they're getting, back to their employees. Now there's another side to this story which is how tough the labor market is, right?
So Walmart was at $10 an hour. Target on the other hand announced that they're going up to 11 just a couple of months ago. So Walmart has to stay competitive. So they had to do it. The tax law made it easier.>> But Walmart overshadowed its good news almost immediately.
According to local media in multiple states, some Sam's Club stores closed abruptly on Thursday, with employees learning of the move as they arrived for work. On Twitter Sam's Club wrote quote, closing clubs is never easy and we're committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.