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Customers shop during Black Friday sales soon after at a Target store opened for the day in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Nov. 29, 2019.Joshua Lott/Reuters

Target Corp will shutter stores across the United States on Thanksgiving this year to ensure public health during the coronavirus pandemic, the retailer said on Monday.

Rival Walmart Inc on Tuesday also announced it would close stores on the Thanksgiving holiday so as to grant staff members a day off to spend with their families and operate as safely as possible.

“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,” Target Chief Executive Brian Cornell said in a statement.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based retailer will also start holiday deals in October to avoid crowds and make 20,000 more products including fresh and frozen groceries available via its pickup and delivery services, which have gained popularity during the global pandemic, it said, as more shoppers opt to stay home.

Target operates roughly 1,871 stores nationwide, according to the company’s website.

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