Macy's confirms Thanksgiving Day opening, as others opt to shutter

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

Macy's is sticking to its guns.

The department store chain on Monday confirmed that it will open its doors at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, an hour earlier than in 2015. Most of the retailer's locations will stay open until 2 a.m., before reopening at 6 a.m. on Black Friday.

Macy's decision comes as several major retailers and property owners have opted to close their doors for the holiday. The confirmation came one day after CNBC reported that the company would once again stay open on Turkey Day.

"In response to significant, ongoing customer interest in shopping on Thanksgiving, both at Macy's and at many other retailers, we will be opening our full-line department stores at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day," spokeswoman Holly Thomas told CNBC in an email.

Retailers have been kicking off their holiday sales earlier in recent years, as they try to get an edge on both their online and bricks-and-mortar competitors. Macy's opened for the first time on Thanksgiving in 2013, at 8 p.m. That time crept to 6 p.m. in 2014 and 2015.

J.C. Penney, Kohl's and others followed suit. And while many expect these big-box stores to once again open on Thanksgiving, the tide has slowly begun to turn. The Mall of America this year is closing its retail doors that day for the first time since 2012, though tenants will have the option to stay open. And Tennessee-based CBL & Associates is shuttering 73 of its properties until 6 a.m. Black Friday.

Like many in the industry have argued, CBL CEO Stephen Lebovitz told CNBC last week that being open on Thanksgiving Day simply spread out sales, and did not add to the top line.

"We think that for our employees and for the store employees, they deserve the day off and to be able to spend the day with their families," Lebovitz said.

As for Macy's, Thomas said the retailer once again surveyed store associates "well in advance, giving them an opportunity to tell us their preferences."

"We are working diligently to staff Thanksgiving with associates who volunteer," she said, noting that employees who work that day will receive overtime pay.