Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT), Best buy (BBY), Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), Bed bath and beyond (BBBY), and other major retailers announced their decision over the summer to close stores on Thanksgiving Day. Macy’s (M) announced in September that it will close on Thanksgiving Day.
“We know this has been a tough year and our associates have stepped up. We hope they enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones,” John Furner, CEO of Walmart US, said in July. This will be the first time in over 30 years that Walmart has closed on Thanksgiving Day.
Costco (COST), Home Depot (High Definition), Nordstrom (JWN), Publix, Trader Joe’s and others have closed Thanksgiving for several years and will be doing so this year. Walmart’s Sam’s Club chain historically closed on Thanksgiving Day, as it will again this year.
Thanksgiving closures have been a source of tension between retailers and union activists in the past, especially as many retailers have opened in recent years during the holidays to leap ahead of Black Friday – usually considered the start of the year-end shopping rush. .
Critics have argued that workers should be home with their families on Thanksgiving Day instead.
In recent years, public pressure on retailers to close for Thanksgiving has faded. Rather, workers’ rights groups have focused on broader issues such as minimum wages, benefits and hours.
Some states, including Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island, have banned big-box stores from opening on Thanksgiving Day. A California lawmaker proposed a law in 2016 that would have required some companies to pay double employees to work on Thanksgiving, but it was not passed.
However, not all major retailers will close on Thanksgiving. Whole foods, General dollar (DG) and Kroger (KR), among others, will remain open.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says shoppers should avoid “shopping in crowded stores just before, during or after Thanksgiving” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.