Back in the day, Thanksgiving was all about the turkey.
Now it's all about the shopping -- and 2019 Black Friday sales -- as major retailers try to lure in holiday revelers with their best prices of the year.
In recent years, major retailers like Macy's, Best Buy, and Kohl's have joined Walmart and Target who have opened their doors on Thanksgiving for the official start of Black Friday.
As always, watch as the frenzy starts in the early afternoon. That's when Black Friday ads begin to blanket the airwaves during the marathon NFL Thanksgiving football games.
Then, after the dinner dishes are cleared, be prepared to pounce. Most stores doing business on Thanksgiving Day usually open anywhere from 3PM - 6PM.
Lately, the trend to remain open on one of the most important holidays of the year has come under fire. And it's not only by conservative or religious groups. It seems the pendulum has swung back in favor of spending more time with family on one of the most family-oriented days of the year. Retailers, as well, have found an employee relations benefit in closing its doors on the holiday (and the resulting feel-good publicity doesn't hurt, either.)
So, whether you're in the "I can't resist a good sale" camp, or want to just sit back and enjoy the holiday, here are a list of major retailers and supermarkets who are traditionally open - or closed - on Thanksgiving Day:
Open Thanksgiving 2019
The following includes popular department stores that traditionally remain open (or closed - see below) on Thanksgiving Day.
Check back in November to see which stores have joined the list, or those that have chosen to get off the early Black Friday bandwagon this year by closing for the holiday.
Department stores: Walmart, Target, Sears, Kmart, Old Navy, The Gap, Banana Republic, Toys R Us, Macy's, Kohl's, Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Dick's Sporting Goods, Five Below, Walgreens, Modell's
Restaurants & fast food chains: Starbucks, Boston Market, Denny's, IHOP,
Wendy's, White Castle, Golden Corral, Cracker Barrel, Dunkin' Donuts, Jack In The Box, Little Caesars . Also check for possible openings at local McDonald's, Burger King, Popeye's, Pizza Hut, Sonic, and Taco Bell locations.
Supermarkets: Whole Foods, Krogers, and Winn Dixie. Also check other major supermarket chains for limited hour openings on Thanksgiving Day.
CLOSED Thanksgiving 2019 : Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Burlington, Cabela’s, Costco, Crate and Barrel, Dillard’s, DSW,
GameStop, Guitar Center, Harbor Freight, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, IKEA, Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, Jos. A Bank, Lowes, Mall of America, Marshalls, Mattress Firm, Menards, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Office Depot, Office Max, Patagonia, Petco, PetSmart, Pier 1 Imports, Publix, Sam’s Club, Sierra Trading Post, Staples, The Container Store, T.J. Maxx
What else is open Thanksgiving Day
Traveling on Thanksgiving? Don't be concerned about missing any major attractions -- especially in the bigger cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles -- as most will traditionally remain open to help cash in on the busy holiday tourist season.
Meanwhile, if you're following the growing trend of leaving the house for the holiday don't forget to check out our guide to eating out at restaurants for Thanksgiving Day with the whole family.
If you're just looking for a quick food fix at your local fast food joint, watch for Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks to open in the morning and remain so, at least for part of the day.
You'll also find Denny's, Cracker Barrel, and IHOP waiting to greet you, along with Boston Market which features their traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving day.
Need any last minute items from the supermarket before company arrives? Be thankful for Whole Foods, Krogers, and Winn Dixie, who traditionally keep their doors open on Turkey Day.
What's closed? In addition to banks, the post office and public libraries, notable holdouts that continue to buck the trend include Costco, Sam's Club, Dillard’s, Burlington, REI, American Girl, Nordstrom, Home Depot, and Barnes & Noble which remain closed all day Thanksgiving Day and reopen on Black Friday.