Walmart announced that it will close all its stores for this year’s turkey day as a thank you to associates. The world’s largest retailer broke the news to employees at the company’s associate celebration meeting.This marks the second-straight year in which Walmart will be closed on Thanksgiving. It is one of the big shopping days as stores extend deals to reduce crowds on Black Friday, the busiest day of the year for big-box retailers. During the last thanksgiving, Walmart was shut due to the Covid crisis. This is the first time in 30 years.
Closing on Thanksgiving has been a source of tension between retailers and labor advocates in the past. Critics have argued that workers should be at home with their families instead of working. Even as the pandemic winds down in many parts of the United States, the biggest retailer isn’t concerned about losing customers on Thanksgiving, weighing its associates’ well-being above any potential sales loss.
The retailer along with the holiday has also provided bonuses, enhanced mental health benefits and an exceptional leave policy during the pandemic to maintain existing staff and attract new team members during some of the busiest but most stressful periods in the company’s history. Increased purchases on Walmart.com could be another factor in the company’s decision to close its physical stores on Thanksgiving this year.