Black Friday is a holiday that seems to become a bit more nebulous with each passing year. While Black Friday sales used to take place on the day after Thanksgiving, in recent years more and more retailers have taken to extending deals throughout the following weekend and even opening on Thanksgiving, much to the chagrin of employees and those who thought they should have the day off to celebrate with family.
This year, it seems one retailer is going in the opposite direction, and it just so happens to be the largest retailer in the US. Walmart announced today that it will close all store locations in the US on Thanksgiving Day this year. Just as well, Sam’s Club locations will be closed, though traditionally those stores weren’t open on Thanksgiving anyway.
Walmart is definitely bucking the trend here, and hopefully we see some other big retailers follow suit. Every year it seems that Black Friday sales get going earlier than the year before, with stores opening in the afternoon or evening hours on Thanksgiving to welcome customers in search of deal. If other retailers join Walmart in closing on Thanksgiving Day, it could have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the retail space.
In addition to giving its workers the day off on Thanksgiving, Walmart also said today that it will pay out another bonus to “store, club, distribution center and fulfillment center associates for their ongoing contributions and dedication to serving customers, members, and communities during this unprecedented time.” Full-time hourly workers will get $300, while part-time and temporary workers will get $150. Drivers, managers, and assistant managers will also get bonuses, though Walmart didn’t specify how much they’ll receive.
It’s nice to see Walmart announce that it will keep its doors closed on Thanksgiving, but the question is whether this is a permanent change or if it’s just one that Walmart is making is making because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully it’s the former and not the latter, but time will ultimately tell.