Walmart gift card

The nation’s largest retailer is closing its doors on Thanksgiving.

Walmart announced Friday that it will close all its U.S. stores on Thanksgiving Day in what they call a “thank you” to employees for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Closing our stores on Thanksgiving Day is one way we’re saying ‘thank you’ to our teams for their dedication and hard work this year,” said Dacona Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart U.S., in a statement. “We hope everyone will take the opportunity to be with their loved ones during what’s always a special time.”

Stores will operate under normal hours the day before Thanksgiving. Details on store hours for Black Friday, Nov. 26, will be revealed at a later date, Walmart said in a statement.

In February, Target announced it will close its doors on Thanksgiving Day. It’s the second straight year both retailers closed on the holiday, a trend started in 2020 in part to cut back on crowds amid the pandemic.

Last July, Walmart announced it would close stores Thanksgiving Day 2020. In a memo to employees, Walmart U.S. president and CEO John Furner acknowledged “holiday shopping will be different” amid concerns cases of COVID-19 might spike during the holidays.

Thanksgiving has typically been an important time for both retailers and shoppers, ushering in Black Friday and the start of the holiday shopping season.

However, retailers pushed more of their holiday deals online, and offered alternatives to physically shopping in stores including the addition of curbside pickup services.

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