UPDATED: This story was first published June 8 and will be updated as retailers announce 2021 Thanksgiving plans. Check back for updates.
Thanksgiving is still several months away, but retailers are starting to announce holiday plans – and so far they look similar to 2020.
Bed Bath & Beyond became the latest retailer to say that it will shutter its stores on Thanksgiving Day to enable its employees to spend the holiday with their families.
Other chains made similar announcements in early June. Days after Walmart announced it would keep stores closed on Turkey Day, Best Buy followed suit June 8 and confirmed to USA TODAY that its stores also would be closed Nov. 25. Target kicked off the holiday store closings back in January when it said stores won't open on the holiday that has traditionally been a huge shopping day in conjunction with Black Friday.
Kohl's announced June 17 it wouldn't open stores on Thanksgiving 2021.
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It's the second straight year the major retailers are closing on Thanksgiving, a trend started to cut back on crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic and to push more sales online.
“This year, we’ll have even more ways for customers to easily and conveniently get their holiday shopping done, over the Black Friday weekend and throughout the entire holiday season,” Best Buy spokesperson Keegan Shoutz said in a statement to USA TODAY.
Target, Best Buy, Walmart and Kohl's have also made masks voluntary for fully vaccinated customers and employees except where state and local mask ordinances remain in effect.
For years, Thanksgiving and Black Friday have marked the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season and the time of year when shoppers get focused on holiday spending.
That rush of spending gave Black Friday its name, as in the time of year when retailers were "in the black." For nearly a decade, that official kickoff has been creeping ever closer to Thanksgiving, eating into time people used to spend around the holiday table.
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With few exceptions, nearly every major retailer stayed closed Thanksgiving 2020, reversing the earlier start to Black Friday. CVS, Walgreens, some grocery stores and convenience stores were among the businesses open.
Some retailers traditionally stay closed on the holiday, including Apple, wholesale clubs Costco and Sam's Club and home improvement stores Home Depot and Lowe's. (See the full list of stores that were closed Thanksgiving 2020 here.)
Yet the pandemic led retailers to turn Black Friday from a short sale into a month-long series of smaller sales that kicked off in the beginning of November as a way to encourage shoppers to beat the rush and spread out demand.
Black Friday itself was "the quietest in 20 years" as real-life foot traffic plummeted due to coronavirus pandemic fears, according to a report by Coresight Research, which tracks retail data.
Online sales, though, soared during the traditional make-or-break shopping period and on Cyber Monday.
Stores closed Thanksgiving 2021
Costco, Lowe's and Home Depot, Apple and other stores that have traditionally closed on the holiday are expected to be closed again Nov. 25.
This story will be updated as more retailers make announcements.
Contributing: Charisse Jones, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Thanksgiving store closings: Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Kohl's closed