Target announced Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, that it will join...

Target announced Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, that it will join a host of other retailers and open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Credit: AP, 2012

Target Corp. is becoming the latest retailer to open earlier on Thanksgiving this year.

The Minneapolis-based discounter said it will open at 8 p.m. on the holiday, which falls on Nov. 28. That's an hour earlier than last year. Target stores will remain open throughout the night and close at 11 p.m. on the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29.

Target merchandising official Kathee Tesija told The Associated Press she felt the 8 p.m. time was just right, based on the competitive landscape and the sentiment among shoppers and its own store staff.

Target will also be offering hundreds of deals online on Thanksgiving morning that will include almost all deals that will be available in the store. In addition, the discounter said it will feature 15 online-only daily discounts for two weeks beginning Sunday, Nov. 24.

The goal is to allow customers to shop "however, whenever they want," Tesija said.

Traditionally, the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, has been the start to the holiday shopping scramble with stores opening at 5 or 6 a.m.

But over the past several years, retailers have pushed opening times earlier and earlier, and now on Thanksgiving itself. This year, Macy's, J.C. Penney, Kohl's and several others have announced plans to open Thanksgiving evening for the first time.

Others, like Toys R Us and Best Buy, are opening earlier on Thanksgiving than last year. Toys R Us is set to open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, three hours earlier than last year. Best Buy plans to open at 6 p.m., six hours earlier than last year's midnight opening. -- AP

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