Target and Toys R Us are joining the retailers offering holiday specials earlier, including on Thanksgiving Day, to kickstart the biggest selling season of the year.
The stakes are high for retailers, which earn more than a third of their annual sales in the holiday season.
Traditionally, they waited until Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving, to make their big end-of-the-year push.
That is changing as stores try to lure shoppers before their rivals do, making Thanksgiving Day about more than eating turkey and watching football.
"The retail environment is always competitive - and most especially during the holiday season," said Troy Rice, executive vice president of stores and services at Toys R Us.
Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy will also open more than 1,100 stores across the country on Thanksgiving.
But several petitions are being created on Change.org suggesting that stores keep their doors closed on Thanksgiving.
J.C. Penney, which is trying to reverse a steep slide in sales while revamping its stores, said it would open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday.