Kohl's, JCPenney join Thanksgiving Day openings

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The list of retailers who will be open on Thanksgiving Day just got longer.

J.C. Penney on Tuesday said that it will unlock its doors two hours earlier this year, at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. It will remain open until 10 p.m. Black Friday.

Kohl's also said that it will be open that Thursday, with doors once again opening at 6 p.m.

And Best Buy said that nearly 1,000 of its stores will once again open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, nearly all of which will remain open until 1 a.m. Friday. They will then close for seven hours before reopening for a second round of doorbusters, at 8 a.m. on Black Friday.

The news comes one day after Target announced that its stores would open at 6 p.m. Thursday, with locations remaining open until 11 p.m. or midnight Friday evening.

And on Sunday, Toys R Us said that for the third-straight year, it will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Its stores will then stay open until 11 p.m. Black Friday.

Those are far from the only retailers that will be open on Thanksgiving, despite indications early in the season that things might be a little more tame this year. For example, Sears last month said that for the second-straight year, it will open its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Its stores will remain open until 2 a.m., then close for three hours before reopening at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

Macy's, Belk and Sports Authority have also said bargain-hungry shoppers will once again be able to scoop up Black Friday deals at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. At HH Gregg, stores will be open from 4 p.m. until midnight. And Dollar General has said that it will be open on Thanksgiving, at 7 a.m.

On the flip side, a handful of retailers — including H&M, GameStop, Lowe's, TJX and Staples — have already said they will be closed for the holiday.

A Kohl's store in Mount Kisco, New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

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.

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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.

For its part, Target said that the same in-store doorbusters will be available online Thanksgiving morning.

Wal-Mart is expected to announce its holiday plans shortly.