Walmart to Close on Thanksgiving for First Time in Decades

This year, Walmart employees will be able to spend Thanksgiving with their families.

On Tuesday, the company announced that all its stores nationwide — including Sam’s Club locations — will be closed on November 26 to thank staffers for their work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, the multinational retail corporation said in a press release that it will be spending approximately $428 million on bonuses for its U.S. employees “for their ongoing contributions and dedication to serving customers, members and communities during this unprecedented time.”

Full-time hourly workers will be given $300, while part-time and temporary associates will receive $150. The chain also said that drivers, managers, and assistant managers working in distribution and fulfillment centers will be given bonuses but did not disclose a specific amount.

The bonuses will be handed out on August 20.

“Our associates have been working at an incredible pace, they’ve solved problems, and they’ve set an amazing example for others,” John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “To further appreciate their incredible work, we are pleased to share another special cash bonus this summer.”

“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,” Furner added. “We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.”

Per an internal memo sent to employees on Tuesday, Furner said the idea to close on November 26 came from Kevin Carlyle, an employee at a Walmart in Round Rock, Texas, who suggested it to corporate headquarters.

While Sam’s Club has been closed on Thanksgiving since it opened, Walmart has not been closed on the holiday since the late 1980s.

A spokesperson confirmed to “Today” that both stores will have normal operating hours on November 25. Hours for November 27, aka Black Friday, have not yet been announced.

On Monday, July 20, Walmart began implementing a policy requiring all customers to wear face coverings while shopping.

Furner previously penned a letter on April 17 that required all associates to “wear masks or other face coverings at work.”


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