For many Americans, hunting for deals and racing to the cash register are as intrinsic to the Thanksgiving holiday as carving a turkey and catching a televised parade. No thanks to Covid-19 however, those hoping to get an early start on Christmas shopping at some of their favorite department retailers may not be able to this year.
Though the holiday retail season is four months away, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target and Walmart have all recently announced nationwide store closures for Thanksgiving Day. While Black Friday has typically been the kickoff point for gift purchasing, in recent years stores have opened doors as early as Thanksgiving morning to start the shop ’til you drop festivities.
“The holiday season is when Kohl’s shines brightest, and as we move into the holiday season of this very unusual year, we are adapting our plans in response to changing customer expectations and behaviors,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief executive officer, in a statement released today by the country’s largest department store chain.
“Given the importance of safety and convenience, we expect more customers to shop earlier, search for great deals throughout the season, and take advantage of our online and omnichannel conveniences,” the statement clarified.
Minnesota-based electronics brand Best Buy made a similar declaration Tuesday, promising an “enhanced” holiday shopping experience amid the pandemic by prioritizing adding more pick-up options and making sure digital orders arrive on time.
Target, another Minnesota-based retailer, delivered a comparable promise to its consumers. It will get a head start on the season by rolling out holiday deals starting as early as October, and plans to expand its curbside grocery pick-up service, as well as making 20,000 more gifts and essentials available via its same-day delivery feature.
While the idea of retailers luring in crowds under present circumstances seems unlikely, these stores have only announced closures for Thanksgiving Day, and have not yet made any decisions about Black Friday’s fate. Only Dick’s Sporting Goods has stated that it will share its Black Friday hours “at a later date,” the athletics brand said in a statement on Monday.