Walmart says it will keep all its stores closed on Thanksgiving Day this year.
This is quite the turnaround given the “success” of retail stores like Walmart that moved from having Black Friday sales the day after Thanksgiving, to opening on the Thanksgiving holiday and marketing in-store doorbusters. Last year, Walmart launched its doorbuster sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and saw large crowds visit its stores.
“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, the president and CEO of Walmart US, said in a statement. “We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.”
Walmart and other retailers faced criticism in recent years that they weren’t allowing their workers to spend the holiday with their families. With the recent announcement, that looks to be changing.
Walmart also announced that it would spend an extra $428 million on bonuses this year to compensate its US employees for managing large crowds and performing extra duties amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Full-time hourly employees will receive a $300 bonus, and part-time and temporary employees will receive $150. Drivers, managers and assistant managers will also receive monetary rewards, according to the Walmart. Associates will have needed to be employed by the company as of July 31 in order to be eligible. The money will be paid out on August 20, according to Walmart.
The closures on Thanksgiving will affect Walmart and Sam’s Club. It remains to be seen whether other large retailers will follow Walmart’s lead.