Macy's to open on Thanksgiving Day for first time in 155 years

October 14, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Breaking with a 155-year tradition, Macy's will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, joining many big box retailers in starting Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Thursday.

In past years, Macy's opened its doors at midnight Friday. However, some Macy's employees are learning in mid-October they may need to be prepared to work at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The doors at many, if not all, of the 800 Macy's stores around the nation will open at 8pm on Thanksgiving Thursday and remain open for 24 hours.

Off camera, many employees said they were upset with the idea of having to give up their family time, but others say they can use the hours.

"Money needs to be made. Bills need to be paid," Jessie Benton said. "I don't mind."

ABC7's Ben Bradley asks, "Does a store opening on Thanksgiving make you more or less likely to shop there?"

"No, I am still going to be with my family on Thanksgiving Day," said Tahite Peck, shopper.

The trend toward earlier and earlier openings began with electronics stores and their promises of door-buster deals. Other retailers took notice of the hype and hoopla - customers willing to camp out for a bargain.

"I know there are a lot of Black Friday shoppers that will probably enjoy it," said Sarah Wilz, shopper.

Stores like Macy's are hoping to increase their share of your dollars in a tight market. A National Retail Federation forecast out this month predicts only a marginal increase in sales.

The months of November and December can account for anywhere from 20-40 percent of a retailer's annual sales. And online sales are expected to grow between 13 and 15 percent this year.

Charlene O'Quinn is among the shoppers who say "bah humbug" to opening on Thanksgiving.

"We support the hype so they feel they should do it. If we don't shop they don't open. I'm against it. I think it's a bit much," said Charlene O'Quinn, shopper.

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