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Kohl's sticks with Thanksgiving Day opening

A shopper at a Kohl's store in Jersey City, NJ.
Nicole O'Hara | CNBC
A shopper at a Kohl's store in Jersey City, NJ.

Well that was fast.

After a handful of companies took a stand against opening on Thanksgiving Day, the list of retailers sticking with holiday hours is quickly growing.

Kohl's on Thursday said it will once again start its Black Friday doorbuster deals at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. It joins the likes of Macy's, which will welcome shoppers at 5 p.m., an hour earlier than last year.

J.C. Penney will also kick off its holiday shopping event on Thanksgiving Day, at 3 p.m. — before many have had a chance to digest their turkey.

Those announcements came just weeks after major mall operator CBL & Associates said it would keep 73 of its centers closed on the holiday. Its properties opened for the first time on Thanksgiving in 2013.

The Mall of America, which first opened its retail shops on Thanksgiving in 2012, is also staying closed this year, although tenants have the choice to stay open.

Anchor stores like Macy's, which have their own exterior entrance, also have the option to stay open at CBL's malls.

While many consumers bemoan early store openings, others are showing up.

Data from NPD Group's Checkout Tracking, which scans customer receipts from in-store and online purchases, found the share of Black Friday shoppers who started on Thanksgiving fell 3 points last year, to 57 percent. Yet the number of people who shopped only on Thanksgiving edged slightly higher, to 18 percent, as people were less likely to shop both Thursday and Black Friday.

That means a store that wasn't open Thanksgiving Day may have lost sales to one that was. (To be sure, the number of shoppers who only purchased something on Black Friday also rose, to nearly 43 percent.)

And in many cases, consumers are shopping from their living rooms. A separate survey by PwC found 22 percent of shoppers plan to go to a physical store on Thanksgiving, while a greater chunk of the 2,100-plus respondents, 31 percent, said they'll go online

To cater to these digital shoppers, Kohl's for the first time will launch its Black Friday doorbuster deals online. Those deals also go live at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.