Macy's is opening earlier than ever on Thanksgiving Day to kick off Black Friday

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Macy's is kicking off this year's Black Friday sales even earlier than last year.

The department store chain will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the company told Business Insider.

Most Macy's stores be open from 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving to 2 a.m. the following day, then reopen at 6 a.m. on Black Friday.

Some stores will stay open for 29 hours straight — from 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to 10 p.m. on Black Friday., which tracks retailers' holiday promotions and store hours, was the first to report on Macy's Black Friday store hours.

Macy's opened on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in 2013. That year, stores opened at 8 p.m. on the evening of Thanksgiving. Last year, it opened at 6 p.m.

Stores closed on Thanksgiving
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Stores closed on Thanksgiving

Macy's and other retailers, such as Walmart, Target, Sears, and Kohl's, have come under fire in recent years for kicking off their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving.

The retailers' critics say employees should be at home with their families instead of working.

This year, many retailers and shopping malls are joining those critics and pushing back against the so-called holiday creep by staying closed on Thanksgiving.

Macy's says its trying to staff its stores with employees who volunteer to work on the holiday.

"Doing so means that our employees are able to make their own decisions about how they contribute to our most important and busiest weekend of the year," Macy's spokeswoman Holly Thomas said. "We have also heard from many associates who appreciate the opportunity to work on Thanksgiving, so they can have time off on Black Friday."

Anyone who works on the Thanksgiving shift will be compensated with overtime pay, Thomas said.

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