Black Friday starting Thanksgiving morning this year

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Ideally, Robert Gunnoe spends Thanksgiving relaxing and eating dinner with his family.

"They enjoy eating and then getting themselves together to be out at midnight waiting in lines," said Robert.

Instead, Robert says this year dinner might be put on the back-burner so his family can take advantage of Kmart's early kickoff of Black Friday sales.

"I think it takes the fun out of it," said Robert.

More and more, black Friday is turning into black Thursday.

It used to be that large retail chains like Toy R Us, Kmart and Walmart would open their doors on thanks giving night

This year K-mart will open its doors to deals at 6am on Thanksgiving morning, reflecting a wider shift in the retail industry toward getting a head start on the biggest shopping day of the year.

The move by retailers to open earlier is already causing controversy.

"I wouldn't want employees working on Thanksgiving," said Robert.

"I think everyone should be with their families."

More than 40 petitions have been launched on Change dot org asking retailers "give Thanksgiving back to families."

However some shoppers said they don't mind the move by retailers.

Charlene Smith said "I think it's pretty good because usually Friday it's a rush, everybody with the crowds and everything so it gives you a head start."

Deborah thinks "it's a good idea. I mean it's good for business as well as for the employees."

Robert knows it's too late to realistically expect Kmart to change its tune this year.

But he's is hopeful that Kmart's leadership reconsider opening early for Thanksgiving next year.

"I think the midnight thing was better," added Robert.

A Kmart spokeswoman said the company made the decision to extend the hours based on feedback from customers, who wanted more "flexible holiday in-store shopping times" and were eager to shop for deals.

One other reason retailers are starting earlier is that Thanksgiving is late this year and customers have six fewer retail shopping days available for the holidays.

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