Sam's Club said on Thursday that it is closing dozens of stores across the country, including two in Connecticut.
The stores in Manchester and Orange will close at the end of the month, according notices sent to the state.
More than 300 employees walked into work on Thursday and learned about it.
Shoppers were puzzled as well.
The location on Pavilion Drive in Manchester confirmed through signs it posted on its windows that it will close on Jan. 26.
"I can’t believe it because it’s always busy when I come there’s always a lot of action going on," said Cheryl Bourgeois of Chaplin. "[There are] a lot of upset people coming. We didn’t have any notice."
It was later revealed that 151 employees are affected.
The other location is in Orange on the Boston Post Road.
Sam's Club said 155 employees would be impacted at that store.
"The entire [facilities] will close," warn notices to the Department of Labor read. "Employees were notified regarding the facility's closure on Jan. 11, 2018. The [clubs] will close to the public on Jan. 26, 2018."
The notice said hourly employees will be terminated effective March 16, 2018. All managers will be terminated on April 13, 2018.
"We expect the employment separations to be permanent," the notices continued. "However, all separated employees will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at other Sam's Clubs or Walmart facilities."
The membership-only warehouse club said in a Twitter post that "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."
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.— Sam's Club (@SamsClub) January 11, 2018
Channel 3 reached out to Sam's Club. Its corporate communications spokesperson gave a statement.
“We don’t take this lightly and decisions like these are incredibly difficult," the spokesperson said. "Our hope is that many associates at the club will choose to stay with the company via transfer and we’ll begin working to make that happen.”
However, the warn notice from the labor department said the employee separations were permanent.
Manchester's general manager said Sam's Club was one of the first stores to open in The Shoppes at Buckland Hills.
"It’s a loss because it’s 150 jobs that are lost," said Scott Shanley, general manager, Manchester. "My hope [is] the resiliency of that retail section of town will end up being strong enough to replace it, but for the 150 people today, [it's] bad news."
"This was a great place and we do have a BJ’s on my way," Bourgeois said.
The only other Connecticut location remaining open is in Newington.
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