Target to close Thanksgiving Day, start holiday deals in October to avoid Christmas rush

Target will feature its 'lowest prices of the year' a month earlier than usual

Target announced coronavirus-related adjustments to its 2020 holiday shopping schedule this week as it prepares for the normally overcrowded shopping season.

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Not only will Target stores be closed on Thanksgiving, but the big-box retailer will begin to roll out deals as early as October in order to prevent large crowds from gathering during the holiday rush.

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"Let's face it: Historically, deal hunting and holiday shopping can mean crowded events, and this isn't a year for crowds," Target said. "That's why our biggest holiday deals will be available earlier than ever, so you can shop safely and conveniently without worrying about missing out on deals that usually come later in the season."

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TGTTARGET CORP.156.46+2.11+1.37%

Target will feature its "lowest prices of the year" both online and in-store beginning at the start of October throughout the holiday season. The company claims the early deals will offer "flexibility" for shoppers normally faced with a smaller window to attain those big savings.

Although its stores will be closed during Turkey Day, the retailer promises that its deals will be featured before and after Nov. 26.

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The move comes as retailers prepare for the normally crowded shopping season. But with the virus progressing in the South and West, retailers are trying to stem crowds from gathering like years past.

People wearing masks avoid social distancing as they wait in line to enter Target in Herald Square amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 16, 2020, in New York City. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Target has also stepped up its safety measures in recent weeks to keep shoppers safe while inside its stores, including requiring mandatory face masks or coverings for all guests starting Aug. 1.

Target had already required its employees to cover up prior to their shift, and more than 80 percent of its stores had already required guests to do so due to state and local regulations.

The company has also upped its cleaning and sanitizing measures, implemented dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable guests, added plexiglass shields while also monitoring guest access.

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To date, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has surpassed 4.2 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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