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Macy's readies to open its doors early again on Thanksgiving

  • Macy's opened for the first time on Thanksgiving in 2013, at 8 p.m.
  • Last year, Macy's opened its doors on Turkey Day as early as 5 p.m., and it's planning to do the same in 2017.
  • Still, companies like TJ Maxx, Costco and Home Depot are sticking with tradition and staying dark on Thursday.
Genista| Flickr

Macy's is preparing for another early kick off to Black Friday shopping on Turkey Day.

BestBlackFriday.com, which tracks retailers' holiday deals and hours, received confirmation by Sunday evening from seven U.S. shopping centers that their Macy's locations will open at 5 p.m. Thursday. That compares to a 5 p.m. start last year, and 6 p.m. in both 2014 and 2015.

Macy's later confirmed Monday afternoon that it would open early, "to serve ... customers who want to begin their holiday shopping Thanksgiving Day."

"As we do every year, we surveyed our store associates well in advance, giving them an opportunity to tell us their preferences, and we staff Thanksgiving with associates who volunteer," a spokesperson told CNBC in a statement. "Additionally, associates who work any shift on Thanksgiving day will be compensated with overtime pay."

Thus far, no other major retailers have publicly announced their holiday hours. In tune with last year, Macy's marks one of the first.

It's been a trend within the retail industry to stay open for longer around the holidays, as physical stores face stiffer competition from the 24/7 business that is Amazon.com.

Though, the topic remains fairly controversial, with "Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving Day" groups gaining a following on Facebook.

The so-called creep from Friday to Thursday began in 2010, when department store chain Sears opened on Thanksgiving. Wal-Mart made a similar move in 2011, and Target in 2012. Macy's opened for the first time on Thanksgiving in 2013, at 8 p.m. J.C. Penney and Kohl's, among others, quickly followed suit.

To be sure, there remains a slew of companies unwilling to budge and promising to give employees, and shoppers, that Thursday off. In 2017, that list of retailers staying closed on Turkey Day already includes names like TJ Maxx, H&M, Home Depot and Costco.

Just last week, mall owner CBL Properties announced it would again keep more than 60 of its malls and open-air centers dark on Thanksgiving, sticking with a decision the landlord made two years ago. A department store chain like Macy's, though, which typically has an exterior-facing entrance on retail properties, has the option to remain open.

And that's exactly what it's doing this year.

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