As the world continues to move forward after a difficult past year, Walmart is electing to give their employees an unexpected breather.
The superstore chain is famously open pretty much every day of the year. Most stay open 24 hours a day. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in spring of 2020, it led to many employees having to work in even more stressful and demanding environments than usual.
Now, Walmart is looking to say thanks. The chain shut down all stores on Thanksgiving Day in 2020, and is repeating the move a year on as life slowly resumes to normalcy.
Per People, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart U.S. Dacona Smith added a statement alongside the announcement.
“Throughout the pandemic,” Smith started. “Our associates have been nothing short of heroic in how they have stepped up to serve our customers and their communities. Sam Walton said, ‘Our people make the difference,’ and that’s never been more true than it is right now.”
So while it may become an issue for last-second shopping customers on Thanksgiving Day itself, it’s a token of respect and gratitude for their employees’ work and loyalty.
“Closing our stores on Thanksgiving Day is one way we’re saying ‘thank you’ to our teams for their dedication and hard work this year,” Smith said. “We hope everyone will take the opportunity to be with their loved ones during what’s always a special time.”
The news came alongside another announcement, as Walmart officially said that fully-vaccinated customers will no longer have to wear masks in stores.
It is also worth noting that Target said they will close on Thanksgiving Day as well.
Walmart Brings New Policies in May
For those who haven’t been to Walmart recently, you may have noticed customers without masks. As mentioned above, that is due to the company’s new policy introduced in May.
The company announced on May 14 that employees and customers won’t have to wear masks if they are fully vaccinated. Considering the chain was quick to get vaccines available in store, it isn’t surprising they’re taking next steps.
The release was put out by presidents and major execs at Walmart. They also concluded the announcement with a message of endearment.
“These are positive developments,” the release said. “We can do this. We’ve been through a lot this year, and now we need to do our part to finish this. We encourage you to get vaccinated and to tell your friends and fellow associates. Thank you to all of you who have already chosen to make a difference and thank you to all of you who will choose to do so now.