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Walmart to close all stores on Thanksgiving Day, breaking decades-old tradition

2020-07-22

Walmart plans to close its stores on Thanksgiving Day this year for the first time in more than three decades, the company announced Tuesday.

The nation’s largest retailer said it wants employees to spend the holiday with their family during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up,” John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved one.”

Walmart is one of many retailers that typically open their stores on Thanksgiving as a way to boost Black Friday sales, a controversial move that prevents thousands of American workers from spending the holiday with their families.

The company’s Sam’s Club chain will also close, as it usually does.

Walmart also announced Tuesday that it will be giving out a third round of bonuses for front-line workers since the pandemic began. Full-time hourly associates will get an extra $300 while part-time hourly and temporary associates will receive $150, company officials said.

Drivers, managers and assistant managers will also receive an undisclosed bonus. Eligible workers employed by the company as of July 31 will qualify and it will be paid on Aug. 20.

Overall, the payouts will add up to about $428 million, according to Walmart.