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Target to keep stores closed on Thanksgiving

Target announced in a statement to employees that it will keep its stores closed on Thanksgiving Day as a way to support store associates.

Target is continuing what had been a pandemic-era practice of shuttering its stores on Thanksgiving Day.

The retailer announced this week in a statement to employees that it will make the change permanent based on mostly positive consumer reactions and its efforts to support store associates.

[Read More: Target reports better-than-expected Q3 earnings, sales]

Instead of a one-day flurry that could be overwhelming to workers and customers alike, Target adjusted to the need for social distancing and shoppers’ general desire to avoid crowds by offering deals earlier and for a longer period of time. The retailer also promoted online buying for home delivery and same-day Drive Up and Order Pickup.

“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard — one that recognizes our ability to deliver on our guests’ holiday wishes both within and well beyond store hours,” said CEO Brian Cornell in a communication to the company’s employees that was picked up by the Associated Press. “You don’t have to wonder whether this is the last Thanksgiving you’ll spend with family and friends for a while, because Thanksgiving store hours are one thing we won’t ‘get back to’ when the pandemic finally subsides.”

[Read More: Target increases number of Apple in-store shops]

Earlier this month, Target previewed its Black Friday deals that are available to shoppers online and in store from Nov. 21 through Nov. 27. Additional deals are planned for Nov. 25 through Nov. 27.

This story originally appeared on Progressive Grocer