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Walmart stores will once again be closed this Thanksgiving

June 7, 2021, 4:47 PM UTC

For the second year in a row, Walmart plans to shut its doors on Thanksgiving.

The retail chain, which had generally kept stores open on the holiday since the late 1980s, said it would be closed on Nov. 25 as a “thank you” to its associates.

“Sam Walton said, ‘Our people make the difference,’ and that’s never been more true than it is right now,” said Dacona Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart U.S., in a statement. “Closing our stores on Thanksgiving Day is one way we’re saying ‘thank you’ to our teams for their dedication and hard work this year.”

Competitor Target announced earlier this year that it, too, would be closed on Thanksgiving.

As the biggest grocer in the country, Walmart has historically been open on Thanksgiving largely to sell food for panicked last-minute cooks. But in recent years, it has extended Black Friday specials as well, encouraging consumers to launch their holiday shopping a little bit earlier.

The decision to stay closed could put a greater emphasis on Black Friday, as shoppers who enjoy participating in the retail event from a brick-and-mortar perspective no longer have to decide between enjoying a day with their family and hunting down the best deals, which can often involve standing in line.

Walmart was closed on Thanksgiving 2020 as a safety precaution, as the pandemic raged through America. Many other brick-and-mortar stores followed suit. It’s unclear how many others will follow the lead of the two chains this year.

(Both chains, as well as Amazon, however, are likely to offer several pre–Black Friday specials, as online shopping becomes a bigger percentage of their revenues.)

Walmart says it will have regular hours on Wednesday, Nov. 24. Black Friday hours will be announced at a later date.

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