Even Macy's can't escape the holiday creep.
For the first time in the retailer's 155-year history, stores will throw open their doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, according to a company spokeswoman.
The extended hours will apply to all stores except where local labor laws would prevent them from opening, spokeswoman Elina Kazan said in an email. In 2011, Macy's began to open stores at 12:01 am on Black Friday.
The news about extended hours was first reported in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Macy's is the latest major retailer to push up its Black Friday hours into Thursday night over the past few years in a bid to generate more shopping. Last year, many retailers, including Wal-Mart and Toys R Us, opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
The move has raised labor issues for employees who say they are being compelled to skip the Thanksgiving meal. Petitions have circulated on the Web in past years against retailers who have store hours during what has been a family tradition. Last year, hundreds of Wal-Mart employees held protests against the longer hours over Thanksgiving weekend.
Retailers are trying to make the most of a holiday shopping season that has been shortened because of the calendar, according to analysts. There are four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, compared with five weeks a year ago.
This month, Macy's announced that it would be hiring 83,000 workers for the holiday season, an increase of 3.8 percent from last year.