At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, it’s become pretty clear this holiday season is going to look far different than usual. Holiday parties will go virtual, some may not be able to travel to see their families, and Black Friday… well, let’s just say I’ll definitely stick to online shopping this year. At least one major retailer has already confirmed it’s breaking from its usual Black Friday practices: Walmart announced on Tuesday that all stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. The retailer generally offers some of its hottest deals on Thanksgiving evening as opposed to waiting for Black Friday itself, but this year, it looks like the doorbusters will come on Friday–and hopefully, the best discounts won’t be restricted to physical stores.
“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. We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts,” said Walmart president and CEO John Furner in a press release.
Walmart stores and Sam’s Club will be open during normal hours on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and store hours for Black Friday will be shared at a later date.
In addition to closing stores on Thanksgiving, Walmart said it will spend about $428 million in cash bonuses to employees for working during the pandemic. On August 20, full-time hourly associates will receive a $300 bonus, while part-time hourly and temporary associates will receive $150. This is the third special bonus Walmart has given out to associates in 2020.
Another major sale event, Amazon Prime Day, has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally held in mid-July, Prime Day has reportedly been delayed (for the third time this year) to October, which puts it just one month before Black Friday.
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