christmas treeRetailers have been feeling the competition of online shoppers during the holiday season, and the response this year is to open for business on Thanksgiving Day. Macy’s, JC Penney and Kohl’s will be opening their doors for hardcore shoppers who want to get a jumpstart on their gift-giving, right after they’ve eaten their turkey. According to research, so many shoppers are now buying Christmas gifts online, that it is taking up to 40 percent of business away from mall retailers.

In response, anchor stores like Macy’s, Kohl’s and JC Penney have decided to open their doors early, and offer “in-store only” incentives to get people to shop at their locations, rather than ordering online. Some malls schedule live radio broadcasts, iPad giveaways and gift card prizes for the earliest shoppers. And, this approach appears to be working, as in past years thousands of people have lined up at the doors, waiting for their favorite stores to open on Black Friday.

It seems the time has come in our consumer-driven society in which even the holidays are no longer days off for the economy. Opening on Thanksgiving may be good for retailers, but not for the employees who have to spend the evening at work instead of enjoying time with their families.