Capitalism is going on holiday — at least for one day. Walmart has announced that it will close all of its stores on Thanksgiving this year. This marks the first time the mega-chain has done so since the late ’80s.
Like many big-box stores, Walmart has been known to cash in on the shopping extravaganza that is Black Friday by opening its doors the day before on Thanksgiving. These “doorbuster” events typically draw massive crowds and, depending on what new electronic gadget is on sale, sometimes even turn violent.
So has Walmart suddenly grown a heart big enough to trump the almighty dollar? Well, sort of. The company’s decision to close all 4,500 of its stores on Thanksgiving is tied to the coronavirus pandemic.
Walmart execs want to gift their employees with a day off, especially those who’ve tirelessly worked through the crisis. “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,” John Furner, the president and CEO of Walmart US, commented in a statement (per Business Insider). “We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.” Furner added that the closure idea had come from an employee in Texas.
At the same time, the company is also cognizant of the country’s recent surge in COVID-19 cases, with many states reporting new record-breaking statistics. Even though physical shopping trends are not what they used to be compared to years prior, Walmart’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales events have always been widely popular and well-attended, so the chain store would rather play it safe than sorry. As of today, the US has nearly 4 million confirmed cases of the novel virus and the death toll has just surpassed the 140,000 mark.
Thanksgiving 2020 falls on November 26th this year. In addition to Walmart, the Walmart-owned Sam’s Club warehouse chain will close its doors on Turkey Day.
If you’re looking to step outside of your musty apartment and do some store shopping in the near future, we hope you’ll do it with a mask one. We’ve got some on sale at the Consequence of Sound web store and a portion of all proceeds will go to MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund.