Update: June 10, 2021
Last year retailers such as Target and Walmart closed their doors to early holiday shopping to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This year the brand is shutting its doors again to encourage shoppers to stay home and eat that second helping of mashed potatoes with their families.
Walmart Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith said in a news release that closing stores on the holiday "is one way we're saying 'thank you' to our teams for their dedication and hard work this year." The announcement was shared with employees during its associate celebration meeting which usually coincides with Walmart's annual shareholders' meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas. This year the event was held virtually.
Walmart's Black Friday hours will be announced at a later date. So savor turkey day, those deals can wait!
The original article continues below:
Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday are going to look a little different this year, mainly due to COVID-19. According to a statement made by Walmart, the nation's largest retailer will be closing all stores on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in 30 years due to the coronavirus pandemic. Normally Black Friday store shopping (for some stores it happens to start on Thanksgiving Day) is one of the major shopping days of the year for major retailers, but with current safety concerns of big crowds and the spread of the virus, retailers are starting to rethink their Black Friday sales strategies.
Walmart To Close Stores on Thanksgiving
They take care of you and we want to take care of them. Along with special cash bonuses this quarter, we will be closing our doors on Thanksgiving Day to give our associates much-needed time with their loved ones. https://t.co/nbk7o0bkZq pic.twitter.com/3Lenfi6ZhT
— Walmart (@Walmart) July 21, 2020
"We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones," said John Furner, President and CEO of Walmart U.S. "We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts."
All Sam's Clubs will be closed on Thanksgiving as well. Walmart's closing on Thanksgiving is the first major indication that the turkey feast this year will be different. Until then check out the Walmart sales page.
Walmart to Give Bonuses to Every Employee
Along with shutting Walmart stores on Thanksgiving, the company announced today that it is investing $428 million more in associates due to their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic. The additional $428 million brings the total to $1.1 billion so far in special bonuses this year.
"Our associates have been working at an incredible pace, they've solved problems, and they've set an amazing example for others," said Furner, "To further appreciate their incredible work, we are pleased to share another special cash bonus this summer." These employees are working on the front lines of the coronavirus. Recently, customers have been clashing with employees over face mask mandates.
The next round of bonuses will be issued to associates on August 20th, benefiting associates that were employed by the company as of July 31. Full-time hourly associates will receive a $300 bonus, part-time hourly workers, and temporary workers will receive a $150 bonus, and Drivers, Managers and Assistant Managers in stores, clubs, DCs, FCs, and Health & Wellness will also receive a bonus.
Will more stores close on Thanksgiving?