Retail leader Walmart (NYSE:WMT) announced on Tuesday that it will end its Thanksgiving tradition of staying open and offering Black Friday doorbusters Thursday evening. Management said that in light of the extra work loads and devotion employees displayed during the pandemic, it was giving them the day off to enjoy the holiday with their families. 

Giving workers a break

All Walmart U.S. stores will close over the holiday, which takes place Nov. 26 this year. Sam's Club stores will also be closed, as they usually are.

Walmart customer on Black Friday.

Image source: Walmart.

"We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones," said John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S.

Traditionally, Walmart stores stay open throughout Thanksgiving Day and begin offering doorbusters at 6 p.m. Black Friday has become a long weekend over the past few years, often beginning on Thanksgiving Day and ending on Cyber Monday. Customers typically begin their holiday shopping at this time and it's become an important part of retail sales.

A new round of bonuses

Many companies, Walmart included, offered employees extra bonuses during the pandemic. Walmart said it is giving out another bonus of $300 for full-time workers and $150 for part-time workers for a total of $428 million. The payout, which will be distributed on Aug. 20, is the third round of bonuses for Walmart workers and brings the total to $1.1 billion.