Five big box retailers in Knoxville will start their holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving this year, not the traditional Black Friday.
According to The Tennessean, 40-percent of all retailers' annual sales come from the day after Thanksgiving.
This year, Walmart, Target, Sears, Toys R Us, and Kmart will open on November 22, as a way to generate bigger revenues. All but Target will open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving; Target will open an hour later.
However, the decision does not come without controversy.
"We believe that Thanksgiving we should take the time out to be thankful and to spend time with your families," said Nancy Burkhardt, a manager at Mast General Store in Downtown Knoxville. The store will open earlier than usual on Black Friday, but will stay closed during Thanksgiving.
Target has received negative publicity in the form of an online petition signed by store employees who are upset they'll be working thanksgiving night instead of being with their families.
Some shoppers agree that Thanksgiving is too early to start the shopping season.
"I think it's a shame that they're open a lot on the holidays," said shopper Greg Geiger. "Seems to be getting more like that anyway."
"I struggle with this because Thanksgiving should be a fun holiday," Kimberly Evers remarked.
However some shoppers do see a benefit of opening their doors on November 22 instead of November 23.
"One exception would be if I had very small children," said shopper Becca McKinney, "and they wanted a specific toy and I knew I could get it that night, then I would go out after it."
So as stores get ready, manager Burkhardt fears this could harm Thanksgiving long-term.
"If we are not careful as a group of people, pretty soon this is going to be a holiday that's lost for everyone," she said.