Thanksgiving Day shoppers won’t be able to peruse Target’s aisles this year — the retailer announced Monday its stores will be closed on the holiday due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes less than a week after Walmart said its stores would be shuttered on November 26 to show appreciation for its employees.
“There’s no question, the holiday season is going to be very different this year,” Target said in an article on its corporate website that detail its holiday plans amid the pandemic. “Just as you’ve trusted Target for safe, convenient shopping throughout the pandemic, you can count on us to deliver that and so much more every week throughout the holiday season and beyond.”
The post stressed that while its stores may be closed on the holiday, shoppers will still have “plenty of opportunities to score the best deals on the hottest items,” both before and after the 26th.
Target added that holiday deals will be available “earlier than ever” this year in the post. The deals will begin in October and continue through the season to help cut down on large crowds typical of holiday shopping, the company said. The discounts will be available both online and in stores.
In addition, the retail giant said it will make 20,000 additional products available through its same-day pickup and delivery services by the fall.
“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 in a way that only Target can,” CEO Brian Cornell said in the post.
The company now joins Walmart in closing stores on Thanksgiving Day, a stark departure from past years when retailers would kick off Black Friday bargains early on the holiday. Dick’s Sporting Goods also announced on Monday in a press release that it would close all store locations and distribution centers on Thanksgiving Day this year. In previous years, most of the sporting chain’s stores were open with limited evening hours on the holiday, the company said.
Target, which remained open during the pandemic, has put precautions in place to help protect its customers and employees against the virus.
In April, Cornell detailed the company’s protective measures on “CBS This Morning”, such as installing Plexiglass dividers at check-out aisles, providing workers with face masks and limiting the number of customers in stores to encourage social distancing.
Target also recently joined a growing list of some of the nation’s largest retailers that will require customers to wear face coverings, as cases of the coronavirus spike in the U.S. It will require all shoppers, except small children and those with underlying health conditions, to wear masks beginning August 1.
However, some workers have accused the company of not doing enough to keep them safe from the disease. Target workers in Minnesota walked off the job in May after requesting more protections and help with increased health care costs due to the pandemic.
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