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Walmart plans to close for Thanksgiving given the 'unusual year'

Walmart also announced additional bonuses for employees totaling approximately $428 million.

WASHINGTON — For both last-minute Thanksgiving shoppers and early Black Friday shoppers, this year's November holiday may look different.

Walmart announced on Tuesday that it will be closing its namesake stores and Sam's Clubs on Thanksgiving Day this year.

“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,” John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.”

Stores will operate normal hours on Wednesday, Nov. 25 with details on the company's Black Friday hours coming out at a later date. 

Typically, the company has had its stores open for regular hours during the holiday, with a Black Friday doorbuster sale starting late Thursday evening. 

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In a memo sent to employees obtained by Business Insider, Furner wrote about the idea coming from an employee in Texas.

"We know holiday shopping will be different this year, and we will be managing sales events differently," Furner wrote. "Kevin Carlyle is the People Lead at Store #475 in Round Rock, Texas. He recently wrote us and suggested that we close for Thanksgiving during this unusual year, so that our associates could spend the day with their families."

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In addition to the company's Thanksgiving plans, Walmart also announced that both full and part-time employees will receive bonuses totaling approximately $428 million.

Full-time hourly associates will receive $300 and part-time hourly and temporary associates will receive $150. Drivers and managers will also receive an undisclosed bonus. Employees working for the company as of July 31 will qualify and can expect a pay out date of Aug. 20.

Walmart said it has already given employees $1.1 billion in bonuses so far this year.

“Our associates have been working at an incredible pace, they’ve solved problems, and they’ve set an amazing example for others,” Furner said in a statement., President and CEO of Walmart U.S. “To further appreciate their incredible work, we are pleased to share another special cash bonus this summer.”

Credit: AP
FILE - This June 1, 2017, file photo, shows a Walmart sign at a store in Hialeah Gardens, Fla. Walmart is rolling out next-day delivery on its most popular items, raising the stakes in the retail shipping wars. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

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