Fairbanksans Shocked by Sam's Club Closure Announcement

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Alaskans woke up to some shocking business news this morning.
The Fairbanks Sam's Club, and two others in Anchorage, will be closing for good.
Rhiannon Walker has more in this report.

Effective January 26th, Fairbanks' Sam's Club will be one of 63 stores nationwide to close.
Other states feeling the close are Texas, New Jersey, Tennessee, and New York, just to name a few.
Fairbanks city Mayor, Jim Matherly, expressed his concerns for the 177 employees that will be laid off, as well as how this has already affected the community.

Mayor Jim Matherly; City of Fairbanks>>"A lot of people are obviously voicing their opinions, there is some anxiety, there's some people that said hey lets see what comes in next. I think we all need to just kind of slow down, let Sam's Club do its thing."

But those really feeling the hit of this decision, are the small business owners.
Jo Pearson, owner of Jo's Oven, talked about how this will affect her business and others like her.

Jo Pearson; Owner - Jo's Oven>>'"It is terrifying. It is, like my heart literally sank just thinking about how I am going to get my supplies, raising my prices is scary because if I have to raise my prices then people aren't going to want to buy my cupcakes. And not even just as a business owner, but as just a community member."

Many other community members have expressed their concerns for the future of this decision, some even calling for petitions to other bulk-item stores.
Pearson went on to say that as a community it is important for us to stand together and help each other out as much as possible.
Mayor Matherly has assured that he will be in contact with other stores to see if there is an interest in filling the soon-to-be vacant building.
Reporting from Sam's Club, I'm Rhiannon Walker.

According to the company's website, Sam's Club members looking to cancel their memberships can do so online and receive a full or partial refund.
We've reached out to the other major wholesaler, Costco, to see if they have plans to expand to Fairbanks, but haven't yet received a reply.