It’s official — major retailers are announcing Thanksgiving Day closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, Walmart publicized their plans to close for the holiday. Now, Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods are following up with their announcements for Thanksgiving Day.
Walmart has kept stores open on Thanksgiving since the late 1980s. Now, citing the pandemic and a “trying year,” the company is closing its doors for Thanksgiving Day.
“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,” John Furner, CEO of Walmart US, said in a statement. Furner also announced the company’s plan to give employees bonuses for working through the pandemic.
Major Retailers Follow Walmart’s Steps
Target is rolling out their holiday deals earlier than ever in October in an effort to avoid deal-hunting crowds.
“Starting in October and continuing throughout the season, you’ll find Target’s lowest prices of the year on items in stores and online, giving you the flexibility to get the gifts you want—when and how you want—at the Target value you love,” the company wrote in a blog post. In the same blog post, they announced a Thanksgiving day closure.
Previously, Dick’s Sporting Goods remained open for limited evening hours on Thanksgiving. In a news release, the company announced it was closing all store locations and distribution centers on Thanksgiving Day.
What About Black Friday 2020?
From frenzied shopper freakouts to the debate about keeping stores open on a holiday, Black Friday has gotten increasingly bad press in recent years. With major retailers announcing Thanksgiving Day closures so early, many shoppers are left asking what to expect of Black Friday this year.
CNN Business reports that Black Friday has been losing relevance with shoppers as more companies start deals early or opt to extend deals throughout the shopping season. With the pandemic in mind, consumers choosing online shopping is an even higher possibility.
As mentioned in Target’s statement regarding their holiday plans, retail stores will likely shift to extending deals over a longer period and emphasizing online deals.
While Macy’s didn’t announce a Thanksgiving Day closure, they have considered starting their Black Friday marketing push as early as right after Halloween, CNN Business reports. They also pushed the idea of curbside pickup, another alternate shopping method stores like Target are expanding for the holiday season.