Alaska Sam's Club locations to close permanently in January

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Customers of Sam's Club noticed the Anchorage-area stores closed early Thursday, Jan. 11, with no indication as to why. Now, according to a representative of Sam's Club, it's not just Thursday that the stores will be shuttered.

"It's closed today, to let associates prepare for the eventual closing of the stores," the Sam's Club employee told KTUU. "They will be closed for good on January 26th."

So while the store will re-open as usual on Jan. 12 at 10 a.m., its days are numbered.

According to Sam's Club, customers who purchased the store's membership cards required to shop there will be refunded for that fee. Accounts are eligible as long as they do not expire before Jan. 26, the date the stores will be closing.

Up until now, there had been three stores in Alaska, with two in Anchorage and one in Fairbanks. All of those stores will be closing down before the month is over.

Not only Alaska Sam's Clubs will be on the chopping block, but locations across the country, with states like Indiana and New Jersey reporting similar unexpected closures Thursday. The Sam's Club employee did not know fore sure how many stores would be closed.

In a Tweet made Thursday, Sam's Club management said the following:

"After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we’ve decided to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy. Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition."

The chain, with is owned by Walmart's Walton family, competes on a wholesale business platform in competition with other bulk retailers like Costco.

A spokeswoman for Walmart told KTVF in Fairbanks that the approximately 150 employees at the Fairbanks Sam's Club will receive 60 days' pay and may be eligible for severance. She said no Walmart locations are affected.

This is a developing story and will be updated.