Walmart will close stores on Thanksgiving, ending a Black Friday tradition that drew huge crowds

Walmart on Tuesday said it planned to keep all its stores closed on Thanksgiving Day.

The closures, affecting both Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, mark a huge departure from Walmart’s tradition of kicking off Black Friday in-store doorbuster sales on the Thanksgiving holiday, which falls on November 26 this year.

“We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones,” John Furner, the president and CEO of Walmart US, said in a statement. “We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.”

Walmart typically opens its stores during regular hours on Thanksgiving and ropes off the parts devoted to Black Friday sales and merchandise until doorbuster sales kick off in the evening.

Last year, Walmart launched its doorbuster sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. These deals typically draw huge crowds to Walmart’s stores.

Sam’s Club, Walmart’s warehouse chain, will also remain closed on Thanksgiving this year, as it has in previous years.

Walmart and other retailers that typically remain open on Thanksgiving have in recent years faced criticism that they don’t allow workers to spend the holiday with their families. In response, a growing number of retailers have started closing their stores on the holiday.

In a note sent to US employees on Tuesday announcing the change, Furner said the idea to close the stores came from a supervisor at a store in Texas.

Source: Business Insider