For traditionalists, it may be an unwelcome encroachment on a holiday normally focused on family, but for shopping enthusiasts it's all in good fun.
Walmart has announced that it will begin running "Black Friday" sales at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the earliest time yet as the shopping holiday increasingly becomes "Black Thursday."
Although the retail giant did hold sales on Thanksgiving Day last year, they started later in the evening. The 8 p.m. push will be one of three sales "events" for Walmart with others occurring at 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next day.
Locally, Maryland Heights residents weren't too happy about the decision.
Maureen Mohan, a Maryland Heights Patch Facebook page fan, said the idea is a bad one.
"Thanksgiving is about family, not shopping and even if shopping is part of your family tradition there are still employees that then have to give up their family time to work," she said.
Others agreed, even an employee of Walmart.
"I work for Walmart and now I have to choose what family I get to see on Thanksgiving," said Crystal Savage, another Maryland Heights Patch Facebook page fan. "And yes I am thankful to have a job! Been their two years and work every holiday except Christmas day. Thankfully."
Danielle Haskell, another Facebook fan of Maryland Heights Patch, said Walmart opening on Thanksgiving night for Black Friday shoppers is encroaching on tradition.
"It used to be that families would sit down together and talk, enjoy each other's company," she said. "I think it is a sign of the times that this is no longer a priority."
According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Walmart earns more than a quarter of its annual sales from the holiday season. The National Retail Federation is also expected a surge in spending from consumers, predicting that it will rise 4.1 percent compared to last year.
What do you think? Are Black Friday specials getting out of hand and starting to replace the Thanksgiving holiday itself? Or do you enjoy the experience of the shopping rush and the potential deals it provides?