Coronavirus: Smaller Thanksgiving gatherings mean smaller turkeys, Walmart says

Coronavirus: Walmart says Thanksgiving will be different this year

The COVID-19 pandemic has ruined a lot of plans: birthday parties, weddings, vacations and other gatherings with friends and family.

As holiday season approaches, the coronavirus will undoubtedly affect the way families celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In anticipation of altered plans, Walmart said it expects to sell many more smaller turkeys as smaller groups gather on Thanksgiving.

Content Continues Below

Citing data from Butterball, Walmart said the number of people who plan to host extended family and friends for Thanksgiving has dropped from 31% to 26% this year, and those who plan to celebrate only with immediate family has risen from about 21% to 31%.

In response, Walmart announced the company has increased its bone-in and boneless turkey breast options by 20% to 30% in stores across the country.

To combat the frenzy of in-store sales the weekend before Thanksgiving, Walmart will begin selling turkeys on Nov. 2. The retailer will also expand its inventory of ham products.

The company announced earlier this month that it will spread Black Friday sales over the course of three weekends, with in-store and online sales beginning Nov. 4.

“We know this year has been difficult for our customers and their families. We know they’re busy and burdened, and we know they want to make the holiday special,” Jacqui Lyons, a divisional merchandise manager, said in a news release. "Regardless of how they plan to celebrate Thanksgiving, we’re committed to ensuring our customers can find what they want earlier in the season, all at affordable prices.

“From turkey and ham to all the sides, our merchants have been busy preparing for a season unlike any other so that our customers can take comfort in knowing the items will be here in our stores and available for online pickup and delivery, ready when they are.”

Walmart anticipates higher demand of smaller turkeys amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walmart anticipates higher demand of smaller turkeys amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Slice of Chic/Flickr)