Maybe 2020 is the year to skip shopping season. Walmart announced on a regular Tuesday that their stores are going to be closed for Thanksgiving Day, an unprecedented move for the huge retail corporation. Meanwhile, they also revealed details of additional wage for those who are reporting to work amidst the pandemic.
Shopping during pandemic?
CEO of Walmart US, John Furner, expressed 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.”
Previously, it was reported that Black Friday, the huge shopping event directly following Thanksgiving, may not be plausible with the health crisis going on, especially without an official vaccine so far. As many are worried about how this Friday of all Fridays be held safely, as it usually draws in massive amount of shoppers queueing up at stores to score incredible deals. This also usually opens the holiday shopping season.
Sans Thanksgiving shopping
But this year, after around thirty years of holidays servicing the public (except for Christmases), it will be closed on Thanksgiving, November 26. Meanwhile, business as usual are for Walmart stores on the day before, November 25. However, there are still no information on store hours for Black Friday itself. Also included with this Thanksgiving shutdown is Sam’s Club.
For the third time this year, we’re showing our appreciation for associates by providing special cash bonuses totaling $428M. Walmart stores will also close Thanksgiving Day, so associates can spend the time with their friends and families. https://t.co/e56X2MFVXi pic.twitter.com/kMRpebw5K0
— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) July 21, 2020
The decision is rooted from the concerns of gathering dense crowds during holidays on a pandemic setting. It was even disputed in the last years by many if stores should even be opened on holidays or reward the day for employees to rest. The multinational retail store also implemented reduced operating hours on its chain of stores in US since the outbreak began. And as a safety measure, they are also requiring customers to wear masks in store premises.
Furthermore, Walmart also announced that they are willing to allocate $428 million dedicated as bonuses for their employees who worked during the health crisis. $300 bonus each are for full time workers while $150 for part-time and temporary staff, for those employees hired as of July 31. In addition, other workers of theirs including drivers, managers, and assistant managers are also slated to see bonuses, expected to roll out on August 20.
Walmart’s CEO said: “Our associates have been working at an incredible pace, they’ve solved problems, and they’ve set an amazing example for others. To further appreciate their incredible work, we are pleased to share another special cash bonus this summer.”