Black Friday or Black Thursday?

FRESNO, California

Black Friday traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season the day after Thanksgiving but this year, it's pushing into the day Americans give thanks.

"It's pretty wise of them to extend their hours further out so it doesn't have people waiting out too late or it gives them more of a variety of being able to shop for a longer period of time," said Annette Gomez of Fresno.

Major retail chains like Target, Best Buy and Kohl's announced they will open earlier this year, beginning Thursday at midnight.

"What the guest wants, the guests are going to get. So if the guests want more of a shopping opportunity on that day for more deals - Target and the other stores, we're all going to give them that," said Samantha Cole, a Target assistant manager in northeast Fresno.

"I think it's great. More people when they're done with dinner and hanging out with family, then they want to go, maybe go out and have fun and shop," said Debbie Williams, a Black Friday shopper.

And while most customers like the extended hours, those working behind the register say it could slice into their Thanksgiving holiday. One Target employee went as far as to start an online petition urging the retail giant to cut back its Black Friday hours so workers can spend more time with their loved ones. More than 90,000 people have already lend their support.

"People start sympathizing with these employees and all of a sudden you have, well what kind of a company is this that's disrupting their family life," said Fresno State marketing professor Dr. Bill Rice. "All it takes is a couple of people to begin to stick their hand up and say, you know what, there's something wrong here," said Rice.

But Target says working on holidays is all part of working in retail. "When you sign up for retail, you work the day before Christmas, the day after Christmas, you work the day before Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving. So when you sign up working for retail, you're going to have crazy hours," said Cole.

And it's those extra hours retail stores want consumers to take advantage of and spend their cash.

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