Target stores will no longer open their doors on Thanksgiving Day.
The change, which was announced to employees on Monday, comes after the big-box retailer closed its stores on the holiday last year in an effort to limit crowds and ensure customer safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Target and other retailers have traditionally opened on Thanksgiving to capitalize on Black Friday, the start of the holiday sales rush.
“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard — one that recognizes our ability to deliver on our guests’ holiday wishes both within and well beyond store hours,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a note to employees first obtained by the Associated Press.
Like most retailers, Target has emphasized online sales during the pandemic. The company unveiled its first holiday sales promotions in October as part of its strategy shift. While stores will be closed on Thanksgiving, the retailer’s distribution and call centers will have some staffing for the holiday, the Associated Press reported.
The holiday closures also represent another perk for workers in a tight labor market. In September, Target said it planned to hire 100,000 seasonal employees.
Target isn’t the only retailer planning to stay closed for the holiday. In June, top rival Walmart announced its locations would close on Thanksgiving “as a ‘thank you’ to associates for their continued hard work during the pandemic.” Best Buy and Home Depot will also be closed.
Holiday spending is expected to grow by between 8.5% and 10.5% to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion this year, according to data from the National Retail Federation.