“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a note to employees. Cornell said he decided to make the policy permanent after visiting Target stores last week in New York and New Jersey, where workers told him they were glad they could stay home on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving closures have been a source of tension between retailers and labor advocates in the past, especially as many retailers in recent years have opened their doors on the holiday to get a jump on Black Friday.
Critics have argued that workers should be at home with their families on Thanksgiving instead.
Over the last several years, public pressure on retailers to close on Thanksgiving has faded. Workers’ rights groups have instead focused on broader issues such as the minimum wage, benefits and schedules.
Some states, including Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island, have prohibited big-box stores from opening on Thanksgiving. A California legislator proposed a law in 2016 that would have required some companies to pay employees double for working on Thanksgiving, but it did not pass.