Lunds & Byerlys gives associates Thanksgiving and Black Friday off
Lunds & Byerlys, a 28-store grocer in the Twin Cities metro area, is giving workers paid-days off on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday in recognition of their efforts during the pandemic.
“In appreciation for the remarkable efforts of our entire Lunds & Byerlys team throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to close all Lunds & Byerlys stores and production facilities on Friday, November 26 to provide our team with an additional day off. This is in addition to our customary paid holiday for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 25,” Lunds & Byerlys said in a Facebook post.
The more than 200 responses to the Facebook post were overwhelmingly positive, including some from current and former workers. One customer said, “Amazing! Thank you for being human.”
Another said, “Thank you to all the employees that made the curbside grocery pickup possible during the riskiest months of this awful pandemic. Enjoy your extra paid day off.”
Last year, Big Y, which operates supermarkets in Massachusetts and Connecticut, closed on Easter and the Monday after as well as Thanksgiving and Black Friday to give workers a pandemic break, although the days were unpaid.
Days off for supermarket chains are rare and those days generally are unpaid. Many are closed only on Christmas Day and offer limited hours on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and New Years Day.
Aldi, Publix and Trader Joe’s are among the few grocers closed on Thanksgiving, again without pay for workers. Among major chains, Costco stands out for closing on seven unpaid holidays.
Last Thanksgiving, a number of general merchandise stores that are usually open were closed in appreciation of worker’s pandemic-related efforts as well as for social distancing reasons. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kohl’s have announced they will remain closed on Thanksgiving for the second straight year.
Hazard pay, special bonuses and higher wages are among the measures grocers have taken to show appreciation to store associates during the pandemic.
- In appreciation for the remarkable efforts – Lunds & Byerlys/Facebook
- How can retailers help frontline employees recharge? – RetailWire
- Will closing stores on Thanksgiving become the new retail tradition? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Lunds & Byerlys’ move to treat Thanksgiving and Black Friday as paid holidays off feasible for other grocers or general merchandisers? Can and should grocers give associates as many holidays off as general merchandisers?