Does 'Black Friday' Start Too Early This Year?

Retailers are kicking off their big holiday sales as early as Thanksgiving evening.

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The Friday after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday," has traditionally been a huge shopping day, with retailers promoting special hours and major discounts to jump start the holiday gift-buying season. However, this year some stores are taking it to the extreme, kicking off their Black Friday sales Thursday evening.  Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Macy's, Kohl's, and Target all announced they would start their sales even earlier than the usual crack-of-dawn Friday morning  rush, with Wal-Mart, the earliest among them, launching their holiday sale at 10 p.m. Thursday. Some shopaholics may be rejoicing at the extra hours, but other consumers are pushing back. Nearly 200,000 people have signed a " Tell Target to Save Thanksgiving" petition to calling for the retailing giant to push back their sale from midnight to the usual 5 a.m. Friday kick off. The petition argues:

A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day.  By opening the doors at midnight, Target is requiring team members to be in the store by 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation -- all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night's rest on Thanksgiving!

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However, some are defending retailers' decision to start sales early. They argue that in the current economic conditions, consumers can appreciate the discounts, stores can't be blamed for reaching for the extra revenue, and there are plenty of unemployed Americans who would be grateful to work, even if on Thanksgiving.

What do you think? Does Black Friday start too early this year? Take the poll and comment below.

This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.

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