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.
Academy Sports + Outdoors
In the past, Academy Sports + Outdoors has shuttered its doors on Turkey Day — and this year is no different. In a statement, the company announced that it would “continue the tradition of closing our stores on Thanksgiving Day to provide our team members and customers time to have fun and make memories with family and friends.”
The sporting goods retailer will instead offer deals to customers through its website, where they can either have products shipped directly to them or to a local outpost for contactless curbside pickup.
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.
In an email to FN, VP of global communications Tracy Royal confirmed that all of the Foot Locker’s stores in the United States will shutter on Thanksgiving this year. At the end of the Q1 period, it had 3,113 units in 27 countries spanning North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. About 890 of those locations are in the U.S.
Foot Locker expects to continue operating with standard business hours on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Its outposts will then close on Nov. 26, while information on hours for the rest of the holiday weekend, including Black Friday on Nov. 27, have yet to be shared.
The department store chain announced in early August that it made the decision to shutter its locations on Turkey Day. On Nov. 10, it announced that a bankruptcy judge approved its sale to mall giants Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Simon Property Group — a move that sets the stage for its holiday preparations. It has yet to specify plans for Black Friday but shared that plans were underway to provide “incredible value on great products” throughout November and December.
“We have learned a great deal over these past several months. Our extraordinary associates have demonstrated their warrior spirit through their courage and unwavering commitment to serve our customers since reopening our stores with numerous safety precautions in place,” CEO Jill Soltau explained. “And our loyal customers, who remain at the heart of everything we do, have supported us throughout the many challenges they have braved during the pandemic.”
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.
Thanksgiving at Macy’s will be different this year: The annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will be modified to a television-only presentation for the first time in its more than 90-year history. Plus, stores will be closed on the holiday itself. Instead, the retailer is encouraging customers to visit Macys.com and the Macy’s app to find its pre-Black Friday deals. It also plans to share local store hours and fulfillment options closer to Nov. 26.
On Black Friday itself, the chain’s locations will be open for the public, and customers can shop in stores, as well as through its contactless curbside pickup; buy online, pick-up in store; and same-day delivery options.
In early October, the co-op announced that it would close on Turkey Day, as it does each year. It will also close its 167 locations — including stores, distribution centers, call centers and its headquarters — on Black Friday for the sixth year in the row. The annual practice, dubbed #OptOutside, was launched in 2015 as part of REI’s initiative to allow its workers to spend time with family and friends during the Thanksgiving Day weekend. (Its more than 13,000 employees, added the company, will still receive their compensation.)
“In the middle of everything, we have watched as people all over the world — some of them for the first time — looked to time outside to reflect, restore and connect to one another,” CEO Eric Artz wrote in a letter. “In this year of unprecedented challenges staying true to our purpose, living our values and caring for our people and communities is more important than ever.”
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.
In a move that it said would benefit more than 6,000 retail workers throughout its 179 retail locations in the U.S., the Baltimore-based athletic giant announced in early September that all domestic Under Armour outposts as well as outlet stores will shut down on Thanksgiving Day. Those stores are expected to reopen the next day in accordance with their respective mall hours.
“This entire year has been unpredictable and, for all of us, challenging in our own ways,” CEO Patrik Frisk said in a statement. “It’s important to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the wins that we’ve accomplished throughout 2020. For that, we’re closing our stores to give our retail teammates a chance to pause and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday before finishing out the year strong.”
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.