November is still months away, but Walmart (WMT) is planning ahead and said it will close on Thanksgiving Day, which is traditionally the start of its Black Friday shopping sales. The move is in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and what the retailer expects will be a very different shopping season.

The announcement was made in a memo to employees on Tuesday, obtained by Yahoo Finance. Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner said the idea to close on Thanksgiving Day came from an employee at a store in Round Rock, Texas.

Furner reiterated what the employee wrote to management in a letter that said Walmart should "close for Thanksgiving during this unusual year, so that our associates could spend the day with their families."

"Our best ideas come from our associates, and this year we have decided to close our stores on Thanksgiving Day — Nov. 26," Furner said in the memo. "We know it’s been a tiring year, and you’ve stepped up. We want you to enjoy the day at home with your loved ones."

Walmart also will be giving out special cash bonuses again to its 1.5 million U.S. workers,  as an additional thank you to its employee for their work during the pandemic, the news outlet said.

“You’ve been working at an incredible pace, you’ve solved problems, and you’ve set an amazing example for others,” Furner said in the memo.

Full-time employees who have worked with the company since July 31 will receive $300 and part-time and temporary workers will receive $150, Yahoo Finance said. The $428 million in bonuses reportedly will be doled out on Aug. 20.

Walmart has already given employees $1.1 billion in special cash bonuses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares of Walmart were trading at $133.01 as of 1:14 p.m. ET, up $1.54 or 1.17%

Shopping carts are seen outside a new Walmart Express store in Chicago Shopping carts are seen outside a new Walmart Express store in Chicago July 26, 2011. Wal-Mart Stores Inc is opening its first small store in Chicago on Wednesday as it tests a format it hopes will allow it to penetrate urban markets that have resisted its huge stores. Photo: REUTERS