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Target Follows Walmart By Deciding to Close on This Major Holiday

The retail giant announced it will be operating differently on Thanksgiving—but starting sales earlier than ever.

It just became a little more difficult for anyone eager to go grocery or holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day this year. That's because retail giant Target just announced that it will be closed on the national holiday—a move that follows a similar announcement made by Walmart late last week.

Target's CEO Brian Cornell referenced the coronavirus pandemic as a reason for the decision, noting in a statement released early Monday morning: "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," Cornell. "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."

While closing their stores on Thanksgiving Day may be getting all the headlines (as the statement explained, "this isn't a year for crowds"), what's likely more interesting to shoppers is Target's plan to offer "extra-big savings without the extra-long lines" much earlier than usual. The retailer will be starting holiday sales in-store and online in October and continuing them throughout November 26. (Except, of course, in-store on November 25.)

Target explained how it will also be adding an additional 20,000 products, including fresh and frozen groceries, to their contactless pickup and same-day delivery services. "Yep, that means offering fresh and frozen grocery items via Order Pickup and Drive Up at 1,500 Target stores across the country by this fall," the statement reads. (Related: How to Use Walmart, Target, and Amazon's Apps to Get Your Groceries Delivered.)

These policies, which obviously encourage more online shopping, should translate into less crowded stores locations at a time when many Americans are rightfully concerned about the public health risks that come with the spread of COVID-19.

Target is echoing a similar sentiment Walmart made late last week when it announced plans to reward their staffers for working through a challenging time by closing stores on Thanksgiving Day to give employees the day off. "We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up," Walmart's U.S. president and CEO John Furner explained in a statement, which also included news of another round of hazard pay work bonuses the company will be issuing.

For more, check out 15 Beloved Foods From Target That Fans Want Back.