Amidst the surge of coronavirus cases all over the country and with many new closures taking place, Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, announced a change for Thanksgiving Day.
Through a memo, John Furner, Walmart's president and CEO, announced that the retailer will break tradition and will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Stores will close this year on Black Friday, which marks the start of the holiday shopping season.
"We know that Christmas shopping will be different this year and we will handle sales differently," Furner wrote. "Our best ideas come from our partners and this year we have decided to close our stores on November 26, Thanksgiving."
Furner said that the idea of closing the stores on Thanksgiving Day was suggested by one of the employees, Kevin Carlyle, who works at the Round Rock, Texas branch. “We know it has been a difficult year and you have taken a step forward. We want you to enjoy your day at home with your loved ones, ”wrote Furner.
Both Walmart and Sam’s Club will have normal hours before Thanksgiving. While closing stores is a break in tradition, the company could still offer early Black Friday deals on its website.
Since the late 1980s, Walmart stores have never closed their doors on Thanksgiving. Christmas was the only day of the year that most Walmart stores remain closed.
Walmart has operated reduced hours at all its branches since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, limiting the number of buyers in its stores.
Starting Monday, July 20th, the use of face masks at all Walmart and Sam’s Club branches is mandatory as a new measure to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic.