A massive retailer will now close during the Thanksgiving holiday for the first time ever in its history.
Walgreens announced that it will join the retailer trend and close most of its locations on Thanksgiving Day.
Tracey Brown, executive VP of Walgreens Retail and Chief Customer Officer, said in a press release that the company’s decision was based in part on employee feedback.
“We have consistently heard from our team members — who are the face of Walgreens — that time off is a meaningful way for us to demonstrate we value them,” Brown said.
The company said almost all of its 24-hour locations will remain open on Thanksgiving as will a “small number” of Walgreens distribution centers and other sites.
“Thanksgiving closures garnered attention during worker-friendly labor markets in the years before the pandemic as a way for retailers to attract talent during a busy time of year.
This trend continued through the pandemic,” reports RetailDive.
In its announcement, Walgreens said employee efforts during the “respiratory illness season,” such as providing vaccinations, screenings and prescription access, motivated its decision to close.
“We know that this season comes with immense pressures to provide the highest level of healthcare and service from our pharmacies,” Brown said.
“Our change in operations this year is intended to acknowledge the dedication of our store team members and leadership, pharmacists and pharmacy techs who are working incredibly hard to deliver great customer and patient care.”
Walmart closed stores for Thanksgiving in 2020 for the first time since the 1980s, acknowledging the work employees had done during the pandemic’s first year.
Competitor Target similarly closed in 2020, and both companies have continued the practice ever since.
Other Economy News Today
Another giant retailer now unexpectedly lets go of hundreds after the e-commerce giant has eliminated tens of thousands of roles this year.
Amazon on Friday confirmed it will cut “several hundred” positions in its Alexa unit.
The company did not disclose the exact number of people impacted, their specific roles within Amazon’s devices business, or which Alexa initiatives were affected, reports RetailDive.
U.S. and Canadian-based Amazon employees affected by the Alexa-related job cuts were notified on Friday, per reports.
The company also plans to notify other employees, including some in India starting next week.
“As we continue to invent, we’re shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities and what we know matters most to customers — which includes maximizing our resources and efforts focused on generative AI,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to Retail Dive.
“These shifts are leading us to discontinue some initiatives, which is resulting in role eliminations,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
“We’re grateful to these employees for their contributions, and we’re supporting them in their next steps.”
Amazon said the number of people affected by the decision represents a relatively small percentage of the total number of people who work in the company’s Amazon Devices business.
“While this was a hard decision to make, we remain very optimistic about the future of Alexa.
As we move forward, Alexa remains an incredibly important part of our business, and we will continue to invest and innovate to deliver on our vision,” the spokesperson said.
There are more than half a billion Alexa devices in customers’ homes, according to the company.
“Our investments in generative AI are bringing our vision for an even more intuitive, intelligent, and useful Alexa closer than ever before.”
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