Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Sunday it is cutting more than 10,000 jobs at Sam's Club, representing about 9 percent of the warehouse club operator's staff, as it outsources its product-sampling department to marketing company Shopper Events and eliminates another unit.
"Our demos can be a competitive advantage and we want to take this member experience to the next level," said Sam's Club CEO Brian Cornell in a memo to staffers.
Employees were told the news at mandatory meetings on Sunday morning.
The company also cut its new business membership representative positions, affecting about 2 staffers per store.
"We have found that we can more effectively drive membership through targeted member acquisition events and by increasing our partner membership programs," Cornell said.
"I feel betrayed," said Sally Grueling, 56, who had worked at Sam's Club for nine years, most recently in Hilliard, Ohio as a new business membership representative.
Shopper Events, based in Rogers, Ark., currently works with Wal-Mart's namesake stores on in-store demonstrations.
In the memo, Cornell said Shopper Events would hire "roughly the same number of people" cut and workers are invited to apply for those positions.
Earlier this month, Wal-Mart closed 10 Sam's Club stores, resulting in about 1,500 jobs being lost.
Sam's Club employs about 110,000 people.
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