(WBRZ News 2) Sam's Club has abruptly closed its Cortana location as part of its response to increased online demand, a company spokeswoman said.
The store's pharmacy will remain open until Jan. 26.
People were miffed when showing up at the store Thursday to find it locked. The phone was unanswered and Sam's had deleted the store information from its website.
Other media outlets found much the same at stores in New Jersey, New York, Texas, Indiana, Georgia and Ohio. Spokeswoman Anne Hatfield said she wasn't sure how many stores were being closed, but that the Cortana location was the only one in Louisiana.
Hatfield said she wasn't sure how many people worked at the Cortana store, but a typical store has about 150 employees.
Employees tell me they were called to come in early this morning and were told the store would be closing for good. They tell me the company did offer them a severence package...— Brandi B. Harris (@BrandiBHarrisTV) January 11, 2018
As of now, only customers who had online orders and prescriptions have been allowed into the store. #WBRZ— Brandi B. Harris (@BrandiBHarrisTV) January 11, 2018
The closure was announced this morning at a meeting with employees. The company said it will work with those employees to see whether they might be able to transfer to the other Sam's Club on Siegen Lane or to area Walmart stores.
"Closing a club is never easy," Hatfield said.
The considerations for closing a store are "very complex," she said. "We felt it was better to close this club now."
The broader perspective is that consumers are increasing the frequency with which they order online rather than go to a store.
"It's supply and demand," Hatfield said.
Walmart has been trying hard to maintain its dominant position as Amazon pushes into more shopping categories.
The closure Thursday comes on the heels of news earlier this week of the closure of several stores in the Mall of Louisiana, which were also tied to increasing online sales .
Photo: Getty Images