Walmart is making a big change to its holiday schedule this year, closing all its U.S. doors on Thanksgiving Day. In a memo to associates, Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner said the idea to close stores on Nov. 26 came from an associate in Texas.
"We know it’s been a trying year, and you’ve stepped up. We want you to enjoy the day at home with your loved ones," Furner wrote. "Thank you so much for everything you’re doing to serve our customers and support one another. You have our full support and deepest gratitude."
The Thanksgiving Day announcement came in the same memo as another round of bonuses for Walmart employees. The bonuses will total approximately $428 million and include:
- $300 for full-time hourly associates,
- $150 for part-time hourly and temporary associates; and
- an additional amount for drivers, managers and assistant managers in stores, clubs, distribution centers, fulfillment centers, and health and wellness.
The bonuses will be paid out on Aug. 20 to all eligible employees at the company as of July 31. This is the third special bonus Walmart has given to associates in 2020, totaling $1.1 billion in bonuses so far this year, in addition to the regular incentive it provides to front-line associates on a quarterly basis.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve been so proud to see how our associates have pulled together to take care of each other and our members,” said Kathryn McLay, president and CEO of Sam’s Club. “These are extraordinary times, and our associates have lifted each other up in extraordinary ways, and we are so grateful.”
Walmart says it will operate normal hours on Wednesday, Nov. 25, but information on store and club hours for Black Friday, Nov. 27, will be shared at a later date.
"We know holiday shopping will be different this year, and we will be managing sales events differently," Furner wrote.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam's Club ranks No. 9 on the list.