Thanksgiving Day is still a month away, but a number of retail chains in the United States have already announced that they will close their stores on the holiday.
Retailers that will be closed on Thanksgiving Day 2022
All Walmart locations across the country will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, which falls on November 24th this year.
“It’s a thing of the past. We’ll again be closed on Thanksgiving,” Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner said in an interview with NBC’s The Today Show on Wednesday. “Fortunately, all of our associates will be able to spend time with their loved ones this year.
Target won’t also be opening its stores on Thanksgiving Day. The retail chain announced in 2021 that all its locations nationwide would close on Thanksgiving for good.
“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic [in 2020] is now our new standard,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a note to employees last November. “Thanksgiving store hours are one thing we won’t ‘get back to’ when the pandemic finally subsides.”
As they did in 2020 and 2021, Best Buy and Kohl’s will also close their stores on Thanksgiving Day this year.
Pre-pandemic, stores of these retail chains were usually open on Thanksgiving Day. But the COVID-19 pandemic pushed them to close their stores during the holiday for the first time after several years to limit crowding and slow down the spread of the virus.
Why are retailers closing their stores on Thanksgiving Day?
Aside from pandemic-related reasons, the retail chains’ decision to close their stores on Thanksgiving Day seems to be easier to make this time than in previous years because holiday shopping in the U.S. has changed. With the growth of online shopping, retail chains are no longer dependent on specific days to drive sales.
The holiday season in the country used to be marked by a few big shopping days, with Black Friday being the biggest. But as pointed out by CNN, retailers in recent years have started to put out their deals and events earlier and spread them out across the season. This helps them avoid a crush of demand, which usually strains their stores and delivery networks.
Additionally, staying open on Thanksgiving Day has been a source of tension between retailers and labor advocates. Worker groups have argued that employees should be at home with their families during the holiday. While that’s a fair point, pressure on retail chains to close on Thanksgiving has waned, as workers’ rights groups have started to focus on more important labor issues such as the minimum wage, benefits, and schedules.