According to a recent Walmart announcement, scenes of crowded shoppers in a frenzy to get their hands on amazing deals on Black Friday might have come to an end. The supermarket chain plans on closing all its nationwide walk-in stores during Thanksgiving Day this year.
Every year, Walmart and other major retail outlets offer eagerly-awaited sales to their customers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The week-long shopping holiday usually starts on Thursday and ends on Friday in the following week.
However, Walmart and Sam's Club, its subsidiary, will not be opening their stores to shoppers on Thanksgiving this year. Apparently, this will allow their workers to spend time with their families during the holiday.
The move will also help the stores avoid large crowds, which are a no-no during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CEO and president of Walmart US, John Furner, explained the unexpected decision in a statement:
"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. We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts."
It's A Step In The Right Direction
Over the years, Walmart has had to deal with lots of criticism for failing to give its workers the day off during Thanksgiving Day. Consequently, these busy employees never get a chance to spend time with their families.
Typically, the day began at normal hours, with sections having special sales being cordoned off. Huge crowds would gather outside and form lines waiting for the doors to open, usually at 6 pm.
From there, the employees would have to deal with numerous customers and long shifts to meet the needs of excited customers.
All that is changing this year. Apparently, it all started with a letter to the chain store's board, which was pitched by a store supervisor in Texas:
"We know holiday shopping will be different this year, and we will be managing sales events differently. Kevin Carlyle is the People Lead at Store #475 in Round Rock, Texas. He recently wrote to us and suggested that we close for Thanksgiving during this unusual year so that our associates could spend the day with their families."
Other Retailers Might Follow Suit
Kohl's, Target, Best Buy Co, Ulta, and Dick's Sporting Goods are also planning on shutting down on Thanksgiving Day this year. So, Walmart is hardly the only store to break this popular tradition.
According to market analysts, there should be an e-commerce boom as a result since many people will be forced to find deals online during this popular shopping holiday.
However, Walmart will not shut down completely as some stores plan on doing. The company's fulfillment centers will still be open so customers can even redeem their online orders.
Target and Best Buy have not discussed such plans. However, many of these companies have talked about offering amazing deals throughout the holidays.
According to a statement from Target, the popular holiday deals are still there:
"This season, you can count on getting extra-big savings without the extra-long lines, with plenty of opportunities to score the best deals on the hottest items both before and after November 26."
A survey by Fluent Projects discovered that there should be a 73% increase in the number of people shopping online on Thanksgiving Day. The study involved 6,812 shoppers.
All The Sweet Deals Still Available Online
Even though these stores will be closing down their physical stores, they made sure their customers knew they could grab the same deals online. In general, there has been a very positive response to these changes in consideration of the pandemic.
Mousumi Behari, a digital strategy practice lead at Avionos applauded the move:
"The last thing responsible retailers want are crowds gathering in their stores for Black Friday sales amidst the COVID-19 pandemic."
In short, there has never been a better time for major retail outlets to leverage online shopping. The added benefit is that they can take the focus off a single day and spread out the sales over a longer period of time.
This will be quite considerate considering the coronavirus pandemic and the restricted budget people are working with this year due to the challenging economic times.