On Tuesday, Walmart decided to do things a little differently this year.
To many’s surprise, the retail giant plans to keep all its nearly 5,000 US stores closed on Thanksgiving Day, which falls on November 26 this year.
The closures will affect both Walmart as well as all 500 Sam’s Club locations. In the past, Walmart has been criticized for its choice to stay open on the holiday.
Walmart’s choice to keep its stores open during the holiday “in recent years faced criticism that they don’t allow workers to spend the holiday with their families,” according to Business Insider. The idea to close the stores this year came from one of its store supervisors in Texas. The company has not closed since the late 1980s, per Yahoo Finance.
“We know holiday shopping will be different this year, and we will be managing sales events differently,” said president and CEO of Walmart US, John Furner. “Kevin Carlyle is the people lead at Store #475 in Round Rock, Texas. He recently wrote us and suggested that we close for Thanksgiving during this unusual year so that our associates could spend the day with their families.”
The company believes that instead of having employees work that day, they instead want to thank them for their service.
“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. We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts,” Furner noted in a statement.
“Our associates have been working at an incredible pace, they’ve solved problems, and they’ve set an amazing example for others,” he added. “To further appreciate their incredible work, we are pleased to share another special cash bonus this summer.”
Walmart will be giving thanks by providing another bonus of $150 to $300 per employee and allegedly they will be paid out by August 20th. Walmart notes that its associates employed with the company as of July 31 will receive the cash bonuses as a thank you for their hard work; Full-time workers (who are not salaried) will receive $300 each while part-time and temporary workers will receive $150, all of which total $428 million.
“This is the third special bonus Walmart has given to associates in 2020, totaling $1.1 billion in bonuses so far this year,” the company noted in a statement. These bonuses are “in addition to the regular incentive it provides to frontline 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,” Kathryn McLay, president and CEO of Sam’s Club, said in a statement. “These are extraordinary times, and our associates have lifted each other up in extraordinary ways, and we are so grateful.”
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