How to Work at Sam's Club In Spite of Big Layoffs

walmartJust a few weeks ago Sam's Club, the warehouse store division of Wal-Mart, announced it was closing 11 stores. Now it looks like 11,200 more jobs, or about 10 percent of the staff, will be eliminated. Starting in February, the people handing out samples and doing demonstrations will not be company employees, but rather outsourced personnel. Sam's Club will also be cutting most of the people whose job it is to try and get you to join.

It's not so much about the bottom line, but about "In-club experience" said a company spokesperson. They believe specially trained workers from a third-party company like Shopper Events will do a better job at presenting food samples and demonstrating products. You have to admit, it's not the most exciting sales pitch when some bored employee with plastic gloves and a hairnet lackadaisically jabs a toothpick through a piece of sausage and tosses it on a napkin.

So, the smart job seeker will go to Shopper Events, the company that will be supplying outsourced personnel, and try to get a job through them. A visit to their website,, reveals that they're based in Rogers, Arkansas, but if you call the number listed under Interested in a career with Shopper Events? (888-364-3033) they will graciously direct you to the office that takes care of hiring in your area. Sandy, an Orange County single mom who has been out of work since September, called the number, and was referred to the Advantage Sales and Marketing (ASM) website, and found an Irvine-based company which appeared to have a number of career opportunities available.

When you think about it, working with a company like Shopper Events or ASM might be a better career move. They work with other stores and products, in addition to Sam's Club, and there could be training, management and marketing opportunities involved.

See salaries for jobs at Sam's Club.

Working for a company that provides outsourced employees could also be of great benefit to you if your local Sam's Club is one of the ten that are closing, which include those in Nampa, ID; La Quinta, CA; Louisville, CO; Vista, CA; Rolling Meadows, IL; Clay, NY; Irvine, CA; and one each in the Houston, TX, Phoenix, AZ, and Sacramento, CA markets. About 1,500 workers are expected to lose jobs in those closings. But if they get positions at companies that provide outsourced employees, they can be sent to another store in their area.

See salaries for jobs at Sam's Club by city.

You might also think about this outsourcing tactic if you're one of those on-site workers whose job it is to try to get people to join Sam's Club. It's estimated that about two employees per store will be let go soon, and these positions will be eliminated, in favor of using direct marketing or price comparisons to lure in new members.

Of course, some of the full-time workers that are affected by these cuts will be eligible for severance pay and benefits, and will have an 'in' when applying at other Sam's Club locations or Walmart stores. But the majority of employees cut in this latest round will be part time help.

And then there's the fact that Sam's Club is actually growing in some locations. By the end of this fiscal year, there will be six new Clubs and 52 will have been remodeled into bigger and better facilities. Then in 2011, the company plans to open from five to ten new clubs, and expand and remodel between 60 to 80 of its older stores.

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