If you’re one of those people who uses holiday shopping as an excuse to get away from your family on Thanksgiving, that won’t be an option at Walmart this year. On Tuesday, Walmart announced that all its US stores would be closed this coming Thanksgiving Day (November 26, 2020). The move is a sharp contrast to the store’s usual early Black Friday kickoff.
In the statement, Walmart US CEO John Furner said, “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. We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.”
In addition to closing stores, Walmart is also giving employees a bonus of $150 to $300 on August 20 — the third round of employee bonuses since the beginning of the pandemic.
Usually the Thanksgiving Day sales draw huge crowds to Walmart, but the opening also deprives workers of the chance to spend time with their families. This year, it’s even up for debate whether a store filled to capacity with shoppers would even be allowed under many states’ social-distancing laws.
Furner announced the policy change in a note to US employees this week. It read, “We know holiday shopping will be different this year, and we will be managing sales events differently. Kevin Carlyle is the People Lead at Store #475 in Round Rock, Texas. He recently wrote us and suggested that we close for Thanksgiving during this unusual year, so that our associates could spend the day with their families.”
If you still really need to get away from your family, you could always participate in #OptOutside — an initiative started by REI to encourage people to clean up their city over the holidays. Official events take place in cities around the country, or you can start a DIY cleanup with just your friends.