Walmart Is Closing Stores on Thanksgiving This Year

The superstore says "holiday shopping will be different" this year.

Courtesy of Walmart

While the COVID-19 pandemic rages on nationwide, companies are continuing to make operational changes as a result. Walmart is just the latest to do so, announcing Tuesday that locations will close nationwide for Thanksgiving this year. 

But unlike other business-wide shifts -- like increased sanitation efforts, health checks, even reduced hours -- that were put into effect to protect customers and employees, the decision to close locations for the holiday is meant as a simple thank you to staffers for enduring 2020. Sam's Club will also close down for turkey day. Both will operate normal hours on Wednesday, November 25.

However, it is important to note that part-time employees must use PTO to earn compensation for the day off, a rep for the company told Thrillist. As a result, many may go unpaid on the holiday -- whether they personally need to work the day for financial reasons or not. 

"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," president and CEO John Furner said in a statement Tuesday. "We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts." 

So while you'll have to wait to do your frenzied Black Friday shopping 'til it's actually Black Friday this year (yes, Walmart will be open for the annual super sales), employees are getting some much needed time off. I think we can all relate considering the year we've had.  

The retail giant is doing more than just gifting workers the day to chow down on stuffing and pumpkin pie, though. Walmart is also awarding its dedicated teams with a cash bonus. 

"Our associates have been working at an incredible pace, they’ve solved problems, and they’ve set an amazing example for others,” Furner said. "To further appreciate their incredible work, we are pleased to share another special cash bonus this summer."

Employee bonuses range from $150-$300 depending on part or full-time status. This marks Walmart's third round of bonuses since the pandemic began, amounting to $1.1 billion, according to the company.

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.