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Target wants shoppers to stay home this upcoming Thanksgiving Day — as well as every Thanksgiving to come
The retailer announced that it would be permanently closing its stores on Thanksgiving in an effort to honor shoppers’ wishes.
In a note to employees this week, Target CEO Brian Cornell wrote: “What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard — one that recognizes our ability to deliver on our guests’ holiday wishes both within and well beyond store hours.”
During the pandemic last year, ahead of vaccines being widely rolled out, the company joined many other retailers in shutting its doors ahead of Black Friday to keep shoppers from crowding together and increasing the spread of COVID-19. This year, Target will staff up its distribution and call centers on Thanksgiving, but all of its stores will remain closed.
Cornell was inspired to make the 2020 policy permanent after he visited Target stores last week in New York and New Jersey, reports CNN. While there, he claimed “workers told him they were glad they could stay home on Thanksgiving.”
A report by the Associated Press notes that despite many stores closing their physical doors, “U.S. holiday sales last November and December rose 8.2% in 2020 from the previous year.” The National Retail Federation, which gathers those numbers, has even reported that 2021 could beat that record by rising to potentially 8.5% to 10.5%.
Over the years, many stores have made the decision to open on Thanksgiving in advance of the big Black Friday sales. In more recent holiday seasons, stores have been changing their tune and opting to run their usual Black Friday sales over the course of an entire weekend as opposed to one day, or not opening until late on Thanksgiving. Some stores, like Costco and Nordstrom, have opted to never open on Thanksgiving to pay respect to the day.