As one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Thanksgiving has become synonymous with getting a head start on holiday gifting and scoring deals ahead of the Black Friday rush. But this year consumers will find that some of retail’s biggest players will be dimming their lights on Turkey Day.
From Dick’s Sporting Goods to Walmart, an increasing number of nationwide chains have made the decision to shut down or give their employees the day off as the coronavirus pandemic continues to dramatically impact retail traditions. Instead, they’re offering markdowns via online channels to encourage customers to do their shopping from the comfort of their own homes.
Here, FN rounds up the outposts that are going dark on Nov. 26.
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On July 29, the Menomonee Falls, Wisc.-based company announced plans to shutter all of its 1,100 locations across 49 states on Thanksgiving Day. Last year, it opened stores beginning at 5 p.m. on the holiday.
“The holiday season is when Kohl’s shines brightest, and as we move into the holiday season of this very unusual year, we are adapting our plans in response to changing customer expectations and behaviors,” CEO Michelle Gass said. “We are deeply appreciative of how our team of Kohl’s associates have shown up to serve our customers through this pandemic and know that they will continue to show Kohl’s at our best throughout the holidays.”
The retailer noted that shoppers will still be able to place online orders on Nov. 26. It expects to share more information regarding holiday hours at a later date.
Dick’s Sporting Goods
The Coraopolis, Penn.-based company announced on July 27 its decision to close all units — including specialty stores Golf Galaxy and Field & Stream — as well as distribution centers on Turkey Day. It has nearly 730 locations across the country. In previous years, most Dick’s brick-and-mortar units would open with limited evening hours on the holiday.
“We are so thankful to our teammates for their hard work and dedication,” chairman and CEO Ed Stack wrote in a statement. “They have navigated this year with strength, commitment and care for each other and for our customers. We will continue to do all we can to support them and show our gratitude.”
This year, all of its locations will operate on standard business hours on Wednesday, Nov. 25, while information on hours for the rest of the holiday weekend, including Friday, Nov. 27, will be shared at a later date.
Also on July 27, Target revealed that it would close its entire brick-and-mortar fleet on Thanksgiving Day to limit large crowds in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The investments we’ve made in our business and our team have enabled us to move with flexibility and speed to meet guests’ changing needs during this global pandemic,” said Target CEO Brian Cornell. “This year, more than ever, a joyful holiday will be inseparable from a safe one, and we’re continuing to adjust our plans to deliver ease, value and the joy of the season.”
Although its stores will be shuttered, the company shared plans to launch its holiday deals — both in stores and online — in October.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant said on July 21 that it would shut down its namesake units and Sam’s Club outposts in the United States during the holiday. Its more than 5,350 stores in the country typically operate under regular hours on Turkey Day as it keeps certain areas in its stores roped off until Black Friday deals begin later in the day.
“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,” Walmart U.S. president and CEO John Furner said in a release. “We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.”
The big-box chain will operate regular hours on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and will reveal store hours for Black Friday, Nov. 27, at a later date.