For Thanksgiving 2020, Target will be closing its doors for the first time, ending a decade long tradition of opening for early Black Friday doorbusters. Target follows in the footsteps of its competitor, Walmart, who also said they will not be opening on Thanksgiving this year, ending a tradition for them that goes back to the 1980s. In addition to Walmart, Walmart Inc. will also be closing Sam’s Club stores for the November holiday.
Part of the reason Target and Walmart have taken this approach is an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which is continuing to hit states across the country. California recently pulled back on reopening after their coronavirus cases began surging.
“Historically, deal hunting and holiday shopping can mean crowded events, and this isn’t a year for crowds,” said Target in a statement.
Target and Walmart won’t be open on Thanksgiving Day
Macy’s has not announced any concrete Black Friday plans yet, but has said this year they will be focusing more on their digital holiday deals in order to curb physical foot traffic and avoid spikes in corona cases. Cyber Monday is expected to be the bigger winner this year as more consumers are opting to shop online.
Target and Walmart’s practices of opening on Thanksgiving day drew heavy criticism from labor rights groups in the past. The company’s were accused of exploiting their employees and forcing them to work on Thanksgiving. After their retail employees have been deemed essential workers, many have considered these retailers closing on Thanksgiving a fair and just move for workers who have been risking coronavirus to ensure people have essential goods.
“We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up,” John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones.”
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