Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s and More Will Be Closed Thanksgiving Day

Walmart store interior in Portland, Oregon, USA stock photo
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In what has become a new holiday tradition, most of the major American retail stores have announced that they will be closed on Thanksgiving, giving shoppers — and their employees — the day to spend more time with family.

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In a carryover from pandemic operations — when stores closed as a safety precaution and to minimize crowds — retailers are responding to the positive response from consumers and showing they care about the evolving shopping preferences their customers value.

Target, Costco, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Sam’s Club, JCPenney, Macy’s, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Ikea are just a few of the dozens of large chain stores that have already announced Thanksgiving Day closures, according to The Black Friday’s updated list.

Specialty hardware and home improvement stores like The Home Depot, True Value and Ace, clothing outlets such as Old Navy and Nordstrom, and pet shops like PetSmart and Petco will also be closed on Thanksgiving. As will the world’s largest retail corporation, Walmart.

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The retail giant once gladly welcomed shoppers on this quintessentially American holiday, but speaking to Today’s Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday, Walmart US CEO John Furner confirmed the store will be closed. “It’s a thing of the past,” said Furner, adding that all Walmart associates will be able to spend the holiday with their loved ones.

For one of Walmart’s main competitors, Target, closing on Thanksgiving during the pandemic prompted the company to rethink its holiday business hours and initiate a permanent closed policy for Thanksgiving.

In a company statement last November, Target CEO Brain Cornell informed Target team members that stores will be closed on Thanksgiving, in not only 2021 but the foreseeable future.

“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard,” said Cornell. “You don’t have to wonder whether this is the last Thanksgiving you’ll spend with family and friends for a while, because Thanksgiving store hours are one thing we won’t ‘get back to’ when the pandemic finally subsides.”

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To counter any business lost on Thanksgiving Day, most stores have extended their sales events, per CNN. By launching discounts earlier, the fall sale season is spread out to accommodate overcrowding and combat supply chain and inventory shortages.

Additionally, as Forbes pointed out in an article about 2021 Thanksgiving closures, shoppers looking for deals will be able to find them online, “where many retailers will be starting their Black Friday promotions ahead of schedule.”

Satisfying the shopping urge on Thanksgiving weekend won’t be difficult. Three days — Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday — more than make up for the closures. In 2020, those three deal days accounted for $188.2 billion, $19.8 billion and $10.8 billion respectively, for a total of $218.8 billion in sales, per Forbes.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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