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Macy's throws down the Thanksgiving gauntlet

Bargain-hungry shoppers will once again be able to scoop up Black Friday deals at Macy's shortly after they finish their turkey dinner.

The department store on Thursday said that for the second consecutive year, it will open its doors at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. The move comes as a handful of retailers, including GameStop, Lowe's, TJX and Staples, have already said they will be closed for the holiday.

A woman looks for information at Macy's Herald Square in New York during a Black Friday sale.
Getty Images
A woman looks for information at Macy's Herald Square in New York during a Black Friday sale.

Outdoor brand REI has even gone as far as to say it will stay closed on Black Friday, instead encouraging consumers to spend the major shopping event outside.

But industry experts had predicted that the retailers that cater to discount-driven shoppers — including Macy's, Target and Wal-Mart — would once again start their holiday promotions on Thanksgiving, in a bid to get consumers in their doors first.

By opening early, retailers have a chance to grab an early share of shoppers' wallets, and build loyalty for throughout the season.

That's not to say these decisions are without controversy. REI, for instance, received a flood of positive feedback for its contrarian decision to stay closed on what ShopperTrak predicts will be the busiest sales day of the season.

Many shoppers contend that because of the popularity of Internet shopping, there is no need for retailers to stay open on Thanksgiving — and, as a result schedule thousands of employees to work.

On the flip side, many consumers continue to respond to these doorbuster deals — particularly those who are on a budget.

Macy's had its first Thanksgiving opening in 2013. Last year, the company's CEO, Terry Lundgren, said more than 15,000 people visited its flagship New York City store during the holiday. Also that year, Wal-Mart said more than 22 million shoppers came to its stores on Thanksgiving.

Wal-Mart and Target are expected to announce their holiday plans shortly.