A Walmart Black Friday Halt: Ecstatic Employees, Miserable Consumers

The retail giant announced through its company website and on social media that all Walmart stores would remain closed for Thanksgiving, November 26, this year. In addition, the company intends to pay another round of bonuses; a total amount of $428 million for the incredible contribution of the employees during this unprecedented crisis. 

John Furner, the President and CEO said, “Our associates have been working at an incredible pace, they’ve solved problems, and they’ve set an amazing example for others.”

Hourly workers will be paid $300, whilst part time employees qualify for a $150 bonus. This bonus will be applicable to all employees that were hired as of July 31, 2020. And the bonuses will roll in around the 20th of August. For years, the stores have remained open and this will be the first time in 30 years. For long, this matter has been a bone of contention between labour unions and the retailers. While labour advocates have been arguing that employees should be allowed to celebrate at home, retailers are hesitant since sales this time of the year naturally are on a rise and yield huge profits for the firms. 

But this year, it was a decision prompted through concerns for safety owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though this will heavily impact the shopping experience of customers, this move comes as a breath of fresh air for many. And the decision to shut the stores was welcomed and heartily appreciated, especially by the workers who will now be able to celebrate at home with their friends and loved ones. 

Walmart had kickstarted their Black Friday sales of 2019 around 6 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day, along with the offering of numerous attractive deals online. 

But since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic in March, Walmart like many other retailers has reduced its working hours. Majority of the stores usually follow a time of 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. each day. 

Other changes like restricting the number of shoppers inside the stores at one time and mandating the wearing of face masks were enforced for public safety.

Though Walmart is known for its Black Friday sales that usually indicates the beginning of the end of year shopping rush. It was a decision welcomed and heartily appreciated by many, especially the workers who will now be able to celebrate at home with their friends and loved ones. 

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