Sam's Club will close or repurpose dozens of stores in early 2018, laying off thousands of employees.
Lawmakers including State Senator Cathy Young are asking the company to reconsider.
Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Shoppers were confused Thursday morning when they arrivedat the Sam's Club on Boston Post Road to find it closed - and then said they were angry and felt betrayed after learning the wholesale warehouse would be closing permanently later this month without any notice.
But numerous thousands of workers who will be affected were unaware when they showed up to locked stores on Thursday. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said she would not comment on the Sam's Club closings but that the wage increases were a sign that the tax measures "are having the impact that we had hoped".
"We've chose to right-size our fleet and better align our locations with our strategy", Furner wrote. "Closing clubs is never easy and we're committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition", the company wrote. In some places, employees reported arriving at stores to discover them closed and their jobs eliminated without warning. Up to 12 are being converted into distribution centers to handle online orders, the company said late Thursday. Walmart is boosting its starting salary for US workers to $11 an hour, giving a one-time $1,000 cash bonus to eligible employees and expanding its maternity and parental leave benefits.
Some of the stores have already closed and the rest will be shut down over the next three to four weeks.
In its statement, Walmart said it is offering resources and support to associates affected, including the bonus that it announced and 60 days' pay, along with severance for those eligible.
He wanted to go inside Sam's Club to shop for discounted items, but the hour wait made it impossible.
Mr. Furner said that Sam's Club wanted to inform its employees of the closures before notifying the public.