Best Buy joins Walmart, Target in closing Thanksgiving Day

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Customers shop for electronics items during ‘Black Friday’ at a Best Buy store.

Sandy Huffaker | Getty Images

Shoppers who want to snag a deal on a giant TV or laptop after their Thanksgiving meal will have one fewer store to visit this year. Best Buy said Tuesday that it will close on the holiday.

The company, known for its extensive assortment of TVs, tech and home appliances, has joined a growing list of retailers that will not be open this Thanksgiving Day. Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods said Monday that they will close for turkey day. Walmart announced the same plans last week. 

The closures on Thanksgiving are yet another way retailers are adjusting operations as the coronavirus pandemic changes customers’ shopping habits and heightens safety concerns. Retailers, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, have taken precautions from setting up hand sanitizer stations to requiring customers to wear face masks. Now, sales that typically draw big crowds and jump-start holiday shopping could present safety risks as stores try to encourage social distancing.

“We can all agree that, so far, 2020 has turned out differently than what we might have expected,” Best Buy said in a statement. “And now, the holiday season at Best Buy, including Thanksgiving Day, is going to look different, too.”

Along with closing on Thanksgiving Day, Best Buy said it will start holiday deals earlier than in previous years and enhance how it fulfills online orders — but did not share specifics. The company did not say its plans for Black Friday this year.

Best Buy has changed how it does business throughout the pandemic, from switching to curbside pickup only to requiring customers to visit by appointment only. Stores have reopened, but with limited capacity.

Even with those limits, the retailer’s sales in the fiscal second quarter were up about 2.5% through July 18, compared with the same period a year prior. That includes sales growth of 2% in the U.S. and about 8% internationally, the company said.

Last week, Best Buy said its sales had jumped by 255% so far in the quarter, compared with a year ago. It said customers’ purchases of computers, appliances and tablets are driving those sales.

In recent years, Best Buy and other retailers have added hours on Thanksgiving Day to try to entice customers to start their holiday shopping even earlier. By opening their doors and dangling deals ahead of Black Friday, they hoped to get more of customers’ wallet share.

Target opened for the first time on Thanksgiving Day in 2011. Best Buy opened for the first time on turkey day in 2013. J.C. Penney and Kohl’s have pushed up their Black Friday promotions in recent years, too, opening their doors in the early afternoon or evening of Thanksgiving Day.

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