Walmart has announced it will close all of its locations on Thanksgiving Day and will give special cash bonuses to its employees this summer as a way to say thank you.
According to Yahoo Finance, the retailer sent a memo to store associates Tuesday saying it was considering ways to compensate employees for a holiday shopping season that will be “different.” The coronavirus pandemic has left millions unemployed and separated Americans in this time of social distancing.
“Throughout all of this, Walmart associates have continued to help their fellow Americans get the food, medicine, supplies, and support they’ve needed,” U.S. CEO John Furner wrote.
Like other retailers including Target and Amazon, Walmart opens up on Thanksgiving for customers to get a jump on Black Friday sales, the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. For the past two years, the nation’s biggest employer has kicked off its Black Friday in-store shopping bonanza on Thanksgiving Day at 6 p.m. local time.
In the letter, Furner said an associate from a store in Round Rock, Texas, wrote to the nation’s largest retailer suggesting they “close for Thanksgiving during this unusual year so that our associates could spend the day with their families.”
“Our best ideas come from our associates, and this year we have decided to close our stores on Thanksgiving Day — November 26. We know it’s been a tiring year, and you’ve stepped up. We want you to enjoy the day at home with your loved ones,” Furner wrote.
Sam’s Club, the membership warehouse owned by Walmart, will also close its nearly 500 locations on the holiday again this year. Meaning this will be the first time that every Walmart and Sam’s Club store will be closed since the late 1980s, a company spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.
Additionally, the retail giant will give employees another round of special cash bonuses to Walmart’s nearly 1.5 million U.S. employees for their work this summer.
“You’ve been working at an incredible pace, you’ve solved problems, and you’ve set an amazing example for others,” Furner wrote.
Associates employed with the company as of July 31 and full-time workers, excluding salaried office staff, will receive $300. Part-time or temporary workers will get $150. The bonuses will hit paychecks on Aug. 20.