Alison Vaughn, of West Bloomfield, arrived at 8 a.m. Jan. 18 to shop for sales at the Farmington Hills Sam’s Club. It took her almost four hours to wait in line to get into the store, shop and check out. Hundreds stood in line to get into the store that day. Police were on the scene to prevent brawls as shoppers grabbed for bargains.

Alison Vaughn, of West Bloomfield, arrived at 8 a.m. Jan. 18 to shop for sales at the Farmington Hills Sam’s Club. It took her almost four hours to wait in line to get into the store, shop and check out. Hundreds stood in line to get into the store that day. Police were on the scene to prevent brawls as shoppers grabbed for bargains.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Farmington Hills Sam’s Club, 62 others close

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published January 23, 2018

FARMINGTON HILLS — When the Sam’s Club at 32625 Northwestern Highway closed Jan. 26, it was for good.

According to a letter that Market Manager Darryl White sent Jan. 11 to Mayor Ken Massey and the Michigan Talent Investment Agency in Lansing, the Farmington Hills store was targeted for closure. According to a press release, 63 facilities, including one in Lansing, will close — and up to 12 will be converted into e-commerce fulfillment centers for the company. 

According to a press release, fulfillment centers will assist in speeding up the delivery of online orders.

The first of the converted eCommerce fulfillment centers will be located in Memphis, Tennessee, according to the press release. Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., released the information. 

Currently, Walmart and Sam’s Club operate more than 5,400 locations across the country; after the closings, the company will have 597 Sam’s Clubs. 

The closures come on the heels of a performance review, according to the press release. White said that there are 158 employees who are being impacted at the Farmington Hills location.

“The entire facility will close. Employees were notified regarding the facility’s closure on Jan. 11,” White said in the letter, adding that all hourly employees at the Farmington Hills facility will be terminated effective March 16, while management employees there will be terminated April 13. 

“We expect the employment separations to be permanent. There is no union representative, recall or bumping rights” — in which employees with less seniority are let go first, he said. “However, all separated employees will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at other Sam’s Clubs or Walmart facilities,” White said. 

Massey said he is saddened by the closing. 

“The store was moved from the Haggerty location a number of years ago as part of the development of the Northwestern-14 Mile-Orchard Lake area and serves many in our community,” he said in an email. “More importantly, it employed more than 100 people, who now must locate alternate employment. My thoughts, and those of the community, are with them as they undergo this huge life transition.” 

He added that he trusts that the city can find another retailer that sees the building location as an opportunity. 

“Our Farmington Hills economic development team has already started outreach to make that a reality.” 

John Furner, president and CEO of Sam’s Club, said in a press release that transforming Sam’s Club means managing the company’s real estate portfolio, and he said Walmart needs a strong fleet of Sam’s Clubs that are fit for the future. 

“We know this is difficult news for our associates, and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations,” he said in the press release. “Our focus today has been on those associates and their communities, and communicating with them. Walmart will provide support and resources to those associates who are affected, including the bonus announced today and 60 days of pay, as well as severance to those eligible.

“We need great people to help lead us into the future, and we hope that many of them will stay with the company at either a local store or club,” Furner said in the press release. “Change is never easy, but we’re making these decisions as part of running a healthy business.”