Target has announced, 10 months in advance, that it will close all its stores on Thanksgiving Day 2021

A Target store in Culver City, California on Black Friday 2016. Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images
  • The response to Thanksgiving Day store closures in 2020 was “so positive” that Target’s doing it again.
  • Stores will be closed all day on Thanksgiving Day 2021, it announced Wednesday, 10 months in advance.
  • It introduced the policy in 2020 to minimise crowds and make shopping less stressful.
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Target will close its stores on Thanksgiving Day 2021, it announced Wednesday — more than 10 months ahead of the date.

Target was among the major US retailers who made the move for the first time in 2020 to protect customers and staff amid surging COVID-19 cases.

Target has extended the policy to 2021, it said in a blog post Wednesday.

It introduced the policy last year to minimise crowds and make shopping less stressful, it said, and the response was “so positive” it had decided to do it again.

It also announced a 17% jump in year-on-year sales during the festive season.

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“Our Target stores will be closed all day on Thanksgiving Day 2021,” it said in the post.

In 2020, it made the announcement around four months in advance.

Thanksgiving falls the day before Black Friday, which is when retailers offer some of their biggest discounts. Some stores launch their Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving evening.

In 2020, the shopping day moved largely online, and companies introduced different strategies to make sure customers and store colleagues remained safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walmart, for example, spread its Black Friday sale over three days and limited store capacity to 20%, and closed its stores on Thanksgiving Day. This was an unusual move for the retail giant — the first time it has closed all stores on Thanksgiving Day since the 1980s. Walmart typically keeps regular opening hours during Thanksgiving and starts some Black Friday sales that evening.

Though the Thanksgiving store closures were nontraditional moves for Walmart and Target, it follows a growing trend of retailers closing stores on the holiday because of a backlash that retail workers can’t spend the day with family.

Target’s moves to bring both Black Friday and festive shopping online seem to have worked. In an earnings call on Wednesday, it announced that online sales inNovember and December more than doubled compared to the same time last year, and total comparable sales were up 17.2%.