Stores like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy are closing for Thanksgiving again, a massive blow to the Black Friday tradition. Here's the full list.

·3 min read
Target Black Friday
A Target store in Culver City, California on Black Friday 2016. Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images
  • Walmart and Target said they will close their stores for Thanksgiving, which falls the day before Black Friday.

  • In the 2010s, retailers typically opened on Thanksgiving to give shoppers early access to the sales.

  • Many are going back on this tradition. Here's which stores have said they will close for Thanksgiving 2021.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Thanksgiving Day in-store Black Friday sales could soon be a thing of the past.

For the second year running, Walmart and Target have said they will close stores for the national holiday, signaling that this once busy shopping day is losing significance.

Thanksgiving, which falls the day before Black Friday, became a huge shopping day in the US in the early-to-mid-2010s. Retailers hoped to capitalize on the Black Friday buzz by offering early deals.

But gradually, retailers have stepped back and kept their doors closed during the holiday. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy joined the pack, as deals and discounts moved online, away from crowded stores.

Experts say that the rise of e-commerce and year-round discounting have taken the pressure of Black Friday and made long store hours less important.

"It has become less of a physical event and more of a virtual event in the last five to six years," Dave Marcotte, a senior vice president at Kantar Retail, previously told Insider, commenting on Black Friday in 2020. It doesn't have the same "immediacy" as before, he said.

Josh Elman, a senior specialist at Nasdaq Advisory Services, previously told Insider's Kate Taylor that convenience was also a factor here.

Shoppers "want to get their item and get out of the store quickly. They don't want to wait in long lines, they don't want to wait for a store to open anymore," he said.

Here's which major retailers have said they will close on Thanksgiving so far:

Target

Target black friday
Target has opened on Thanksgiving Day since 2012. AP Photo/LM Otero

Target was the first major retailer to confirm that it would be closing stores over Thanksgiving this year.

The big-box chain first closed its stores for the holiday in 2020, in the height of the pandemic when social distancing rules made frantic sales shopping almost impossible.

Walmart

walmart black friday
Walmart spread its Black Friday sales over three days in 2020. AP/Gunnar Rathbun

Walmart followed Target's lead, confirming in June that its stores would remain closed over Thanksgiving for the second year running. It first started opening stores for Thanksgiving in 2011.

The company said it was closing stores over the holiday as a "thank you" to its team. In the past, Walmart has faced backlash for keeping stores open over Thanksgiving and not paying workers more to be there.

Best Buy

Best Buy
Best Buy is putting greater emphasis on online sales. Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

A spokesperson for Best Buy confirmed to Insider that it will be closing stores for Thanksgiving this year but said that shoppers will have the option to shop for early Black Friday deals via its website and app.

It's expanding curbside pickup options and offering faster delivery services to make online ordering and delivery more convenient for shoppers.

Foot Locker

Foot Locker store
Foot Looker stores will open between 6am and 8am local time on Black Friday. VIEW press/contributor/Getty Images

Foot Locker said in June that it is shutting up the entire company over Thanksgiving. This includes its stores, distribution centers, production facilities, corporate offices, and customer care centers.

"Our team members have worked incredibly hard to exceed our customer's expectations under extraordinary circumstances," Foot Locker CEO, Frank Bracken, told Insider in a statement.

He continued: "We want to acknowledge their hard work and commitment to our customers, their communities, and one another. Their well-being is a top priority, and we want them to spend some well-deserved time off with friends, family, and loved ones."

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