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Target to stay closed on Thanksgiving; deals begin in October

The move is being made to limit crowd sizes during the holiday rush.

Target has joined Walmart in deciding well ahead of time to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day, rather than opening late in the day to begin the early burst of Black Friday doorbuster deals. 

The Bullseye announced Monday that it will not open its doors at all on Thanksgiving, which falls this year on Thursday, Nov. 26. It's a big change considering the past two years has seen Target open its doors at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, then close at 1 a.m. Friday before reopening at 7 a.m. to continue the Black Friday extravaganza. 

But the decision has been taken in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Minneapolis retailer taking measures to limit crowd sizes during its biggest sale season.

"This year more than ever, a joyful holiday will be inseparable from a safe one, and we’re continuing to adjust our plans to deliver ease, value and the joy of the season in a way that only Target can," said CEO Brian Cornell in a release. 

The release says Target has plans to provide "extra-big savings without the extra-long lines" both before and after Thanksgiving, though specifics on holiday sales have yet to be unveiled. 

However, Target says its best deals of the year will be starting as soon as October.

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"Starting in October and continuing throughout the season, you’ll find Target’s lowest prices of the year on items in stores and online, giving you the flexibility to get the gifts you want—when and how you want—at the Target value you love," the announcement reads. 

Last week, Walmart announced that it'll operate on normal hours on Wednesday, Nov. 25, then stay closed all day on Thanksgiving. Black Friday hours at Walmart have not been revealed. 

The status of the pandemic in Minnesota four months from now is an unknown, though officials with the Minnesota Department of Health have maintained a stance that they are preparing for potential outbreaks of both COVID-19 and the annual influenza bug this fall and winter. 

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