November 12, 2010 / 11:15 PM / 9 years ago

Wal-mart, Sears to open on Thanksgiving

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Never mind the turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Shop until you drop.

A Wal-Mart sign is seen in Miami, Florida May 18, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Two of the nation’s top 10 retailers, Wal-Mart and Sears Holdings Corp, said they will open on Thanksgiving Day.

The move is the latest in a creeping commercialism of Thanksgiving, once strictly a holiday for family gatherings, gorging on turkey and pumpkin pie, followed by a nap or walk.

No. 9 retailer Sears said its stores will open on Thanksgiving for the first time, from 7 a.m. to noon, presumably closing early enough that some employees can have Thanksgiving dinner.

The only exceptions will be in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico, where local laws prevent opening.

“Most Walmart stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day unless they are required to be closed by a city ordinance,” Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala said in a statement, referring to the retailer’s U.S. discount stores.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer by sales, is encouraging shoppers to call their local store to be sure.

In recent years, “Black Friday,” the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving kickoff to the Christmas shopping season, has squeezed into Thanksgiving Day itself.

Parents scrambling to buy the hot toy for their children may be able to do so when Toys R Us stores open at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving evening.

Kmart is normally open on Thanksgiving Day but No. 3 retailer Target said it would not be open, at least until 3 a.m. on Friday when Black Friday hours begin.

Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan, Brad Dorfman and Greg McCune, editing by Matthew Lewis

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