Target will make its holiday deals available early and will not open Thanksgiving Day in attempts to prevent crowds during the season.
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed retailers like Minneapolis-based Target to re-evaluate Black Friday and the holiday season, which is traditionally the busiest time for retailers. As a way to help cut down on crowds at its stores, Target will begin offering its holiday deals online and in stores starting in October.
Walmart announced last week it also will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, and Dick's Sporting Goods also said Monday it would not be opening.
"The investments we've made in our business and our incredible team have enabled us to move with flexibility and speed to meet guests' changing needs during this global pandemic," said Target CEO Brian Cornell in a statement. "This year more than ever, a joyful holiday will be inseparable from a safe one, and we're continuing to adjust our plans to deliver ease, value and the joy of the season in a way that only Target can."
Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette said earlier this month that the department store would pivot its Black Friday business more toward online and will likely go "full force" with holiday marketing right after Halloween, according to the Associated Press. It also will be staggering events to reduce customer traffic in the store.
The last time Target was officially closed for Thanksgiving was 2011, though it opened that year at midnight for the Black Friday shopping rush. Some workers and consumers pushed back on that in an online petition that garnered around 200,000 supporters.
Since then, Black Friday has continued to creep into Thanksgiving Day for many major retailers. Last year, Target stores opened at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the same time as the year before.
Target hasn't released details of when it will open this Black Friday.
The retailer also will expand its same-day pickup and delivery, making 20,000 more products available for Drive Up, order pickup and Shipt delivery.