Black Thursday? Stores Opening Doors on Thanksgiving Day

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Get your wallets — and your elbows — ready.

Christmas shopping will be starting even earlier this year. Black Friday is coming to Thursday. Yep, Thanksgiving Day.

“Nothing’s sacred anymore, I guess,” Chicago resident Amanda Palmucci said today. “I don’t agree with it. I think the best way to spend Thanksgiving is with your family – overeating, you know.”

For the first time, Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Kohl’s say they will be opening their doors at midnight Thursday. Wal-Mart will open at 10 p.m.

“Basically what it is, it’s a race for space,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at the NPD Group. “If retailers can be the first doors open, they’re going to capture that enthusiastic Black Friday customer.”

“If somebody is opening at midnight, well, look for somebody to say, ‘Well, we’re going to open at 11 p.m.,’ and look for someone else to say, ‘Well, we’re just not going to close on Thanksgiving Day at all,’” he said.

Cohen said that even though the weekend represented about 11 percent of the holiday business, it still set a tone.

“It tells consumers where they can tell their friends the really good deals are. People love to tell a great story,” he said.

“I can understand why they’re doing it – because of the economy at this point [and] trying to increase sales, ” said Phyllis Etheridge. “But I think [the holiday is] for family. Everyone should be at home, really, celebrating with their family.”

Etheridge said she supported the stores choosing not to open on Thanksgiving and hoped other shoppers would, too.

In fact, Sears and JC Penney said they will not be opening on Thanksgiving Day so that workers can be with their families. And Anthony Hardwick, a Target employee, has created an online petition urging his employer not to open until Friday morning.

“I’m going to have to get some sleep and I’ll probably go to bed at 2 and miss my family’s Thanksgiving dinner completely,” said Hardwick, who has to be at work at Target at 11 p.m. to prepare for the rush of shoppers.

“Normally on Thanksgiving, [we] get together with my aunts, uncles and grandparents, Mom and Dad, sisters for a nice big Thanksgiving dinner,” he said today. “I’ll miss out on everything.”

Brenda Hurst told ABC News that she’d shopped on Black Friday once and would never do it again.

“It was an absolute madhouse,” the Indiana woman said. “I had a woman who would not give me a parking spot. … She was saving it for somebody. My personal vote is: Everyone take a break from spending and let’s just be thankful for what we already have with our family and good health.”