Walmart wholesale arm Sam’s Club is packing up and leaving the Seattle area entirely. The chain’s three stores in and near the city—Renton, Auburn, and their sole location in the Seattle city limits—are among 63 that will close in the next couple of weeks. A store locator currently shows nothing within 100 miles of Seattle.
The closures will affect about 500 local jobs.
That doesn’t exactly leave a gap in the area’s wholesale business. Seattle has its own homegrown version, Costco, which is headquartered in Issaquah—and even with recently announced Sam’s Club raises, Costco pays more. It’s also a little more common around the area; the Shoreline location was just a few miles up the road from Sam’s Club’s sole Seattle-proper location on Aurora.
Sadly, Sam’s Club on Aurora Ave in Seattle among the closures. Good people in the community work here. Open for business again tomorrow until they close permanently on Jan. 26, per an associate. Gas station too. @KING5Seattle pic.twitter.com/NYH4RW8gKA— Peter Dobrow (@pdobrow) January 12, 2018
Sam’s Club announced the store closures Thursday, saying that the company “decided to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy.” Maybe that strategy includes not competing with Costco.
Walmart, in general, hasn’t maintained much of a presence in Seattle—but the company still maintains two stores in Bellevue and one in Renton.