Walmart is among the latest retailers we can add to the growing list which plan to close stores again on Thanksgiving Day this year. The nation's largest retailer confirmed in an e-mail that all of its stores, including supercenters and neighborhood markets, will be closed on Nov. 24, 2022.
Walmart and Target, which used to have at least limited hours on Thanksgiving, began closing their doors during the holiday in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic began. The two companies and many others continued the closures in recent years.
Last November, Target announced it would permanently no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day. Walmart did not reply to a request for comment on whether its Thanksgiving Day closure will now be permanent.
While some major chains haven't yet announced whether they'll keep their doors shut on Nov. 24, more are likely to do so. Last year's list of closures included most major grocery chains, plus numerous retailers that hoped to draw customers instead to Thanksgiving online shopping.
Experts believe high inflation could push families to get an earlier start on shopping this year with hopes of avoiding even higher prices later.
Even with Thanksgiving Day closures, some businesses still open up early in the morning for Black Friday. Though outdoor retailer REI announced this year that its policy to remain closed on Black Friday is now permanent. REI said in a statement that the hope is to encourage customers and its more than 16,000 employees to spend more time outdoors, and the co-op is willing to forgo profits to do so.
AlixPartners, the global consulting firm, forecasts that holiday sales will be up anywhere from 4% to 7%, far below last year's growth of 16%.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.