The coronavirus is already causing big retailers to modify their holiday shopping season. On Monday, Target said it would close its stores on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2011, reports USA Today. The move comes after Walmart announced that it, too, would close on Thanksgiving, the first time that's happened since the 1980s. As part of the new strategy, Target said it would begin rolling out holiday sales earlier than normal—in October, both online and in physical stores.
"Historically, deal hunting and holiday shopping can mean crowded events, and this isn't a year for crowds," says Target in a statement. Expect more retailers to follow suit this year, industry analysts tell the AP. Macy's is another in on the trend. The chain also plans to begin its Black Friday push early and online, right after Halloween. (Target gave each of its employees a bonus during the pandemic.)