Walmart, Best Buy, Target listed

Thanksgiving is still four months away, but retailers are gearing up for a different holiday shopping season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For years, Thanksgiving and Black Friday have marked the official start of the holiday shopping season and the time of year when shoppers focus on Christmas spending.

That avalanche of spending gave Black Friday its name, as at the time of year when retailers were “in the black.” For nearly a decade, that official kickoff has grown closer to Thanksgiving, consuming the time people used to spend around the festive table.

Enter 2020 and the pandemic.

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Some of the country’s largest retailers, who generally share vacation plans starting in October, have announced that they are breaking with the recent tradition and will close on Thanksgiving Day.

Walmart kicked off the closing Thanksgiving Day announcements on July 21 with Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods making similar statements Monday.

Best Buy joined the list on Tuesday saying the holiday season “will look different.”

“To meet the changing lives of our customers this holiday season, we are improving the way we fulfill orders, from offering more convenient pickup options in our stores, to making sure orders arrive at the right time,” the electronics retailer said. he said in a statement.

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Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy Global Data, said he expects more stores to announce the closing of the holidays soon.

“Under current conditions, the idea of ​​any retailer driving crowds of people to their store is not a start,” said Saunders. “No one retailer can be at risk of overcrowding, so everyone will seek to balance the need to drive sales with the need to keep people safe.”

Other retailers have not announced whether they will open on Thanksgiving as they did in the past. USA TODAY contacted Kohl’s, Macy’s and others, but none of them said whether they would open on Thanksgiving or not.

Office Depot confirmed that it planned to keep its stores closed again on Thanksgiving.

Some retailers have traditionally been closed over the holidays, including Apple, Costco and Sam’s Club wholesale clubs, Home Depot and Lowe’s home improvement stores. (See stores closed on Thanksgiving Day 2019 here.)

While stores say they will remain closed on Thanksgiving, they have not yet shared when Black Friday will open and how sales will be handled. In recent years, they began sharing vacation plans, including when Black Friday sales would start in late October or early November.

Michael Brown, a partner in the consumer practice at Kearney, a global strategy and management consulting firm, said holiday sales should begin “as early as October for retailers to have enough days of sale in restricted-occupancy stores.”

“You will see dramatic spikes in e-commerce sales, so buyers should expect longer shipping times as distribution centers peak,” Brown said. “They will also see some inconsistency in delivery times as dispatch centers can be closed if a COVID-19 case is discovered.”

Retailers have also shared deals that will start earlier than in recent years.

“We are also going to start offering some of the best deals of the season sooner than ever, to make it even easier for our customers to review their gift lists,” Best Buy said in its statement.

Closed on Thanksgiving Day 2020

This list will be updated as more retailers make announcements.

Best Buy

Dick’s Sporting Goods



Contributing: Charisse Jones

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko