"The positive response to working on Thanksgiving was strong," Sluzewski said. "In fact, many associates told us that working Thanksgiving evening and overnight means they can be home or with family and friends on Black Friday, which is very unusual in the retail industry."
Seana Shannon, a 31-year-old Target worker in Columbus, volunteered to work an earlier shift on Thanksgiving, leaving the remainder of her time free for family.
"I actually picked the earlier shift on Thursday, so I could be home for the weekend," she said. "So it worked out. I'm used to it."
Macy's is opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving this year, two hours earlier than last year. The store's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City has made its name synonymous with the holiday.
A call seeking comment from Wal-Mart was not returned.
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Other retailers—among them Neiman-Marcus and Nordstrom department stores, bookseller Barnes & Noble and warehouse clubs Sam's Club and Costco—will remain closed on Thanksgiving.
"Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Nothing more complicated than that," Costco said in its statement.
Gordon Gough, president and CEO of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, said the trade group doesn't take a position on whether stores should be open on Thanksgiving. But he said the group disagrees with Foley's proposal to impose a triple-pay requirement only on retailers.
Gough said it wouldn't be fair because some restaurants, gas stations and other businesses have long been open on the holiday.
"We would be opposed to the triple pay for retail employees, which would be discriminatory," he said. "There are many industries that are open on Thanksgiving."
The Ohio proposal, from a Democrat in a Republican-controlled Legislature, is unlikely to progress beyond the first hearing it got last week.