Walmart Inc. WMT 0.65% said it would close stores on Thanksgiving Day this year, in another indication of how retailers are adapting their business to a global pandemic that shows few signs of easing.
Thanksgiving typically kicks off the holiday shopping season in the U.S., with shoppers crowding aisles to grab limited-time discounts on Christmas-themed pajamas, televisions and toys. Walmart has been open for business on Thanksgiving for more than 30 straight years, a spokeswoman said.
“We know holiday shopping will be different this year, and we will be managing sales events differently,” John Furner, Walmart’s U.S. chief executive, said in an email to employees.
The idea to close stores and free up employees for Thanksgiving came from a midlevel manager in a Texas store, Mr. Furner said. “We know it has been a trying year,” he told staff.
Walmart also will close its Sam’s Club locations on Thanksgiving.