Some other big-name retailers, including Best Buy, have adopted a similar strategy.
The moves put the spotlight on Walmart, which has yet to disclose its strategy for the critical Black Friday promotional period. There will also be online deals the weekend after Thanksgiving with free shipping on everything.
"Walmart has them in the rearview mirror right now", Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research, said. In 2016, the National Retail Federation found that almost 100 million people shopped brick and mortar stores during Thanksgiving weekend.
The Minneapolis-based retailer said this morning that it will open stores at 6 p.m. that day, the same time it has opened stores on the holiday since 2014.
Penney raised eyebrows two years ago when it chose to open as early as 3 p.m., a time when director competitors were closed, raising legitimate questions about who exactly needs to be at J.C. Penney right when tens of millions of Americans are sitting down to table for their Thanksgiving meal. "Our hours for this year ensure we're ready with great deals for those guests who want to shop following their Thanksgiving dinner, while also giving our teams a chance to recharge and prepare our stores before we open on Friday to greet guests with even more holiday savings".