Black Friday is Black Thursday for retailers opening on Thanksgiving

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(CNN) — A backlash is brewing against the mad dash for holiday shopping savings. While many Americans trade turkey and stuffing for long lines and holiday steals, others are revolting, saying Thanksgiving should not become “Black Thursday” — and it’s not just coming from employees who have to work. Some business owners say we don’t want to be there either.

There is more to Thanksgiving now than turkey. Walmart, Kmart and Target are all opening early for early bird shoppers on this holiday — just like last year — and joining them this year are JC Penney, Kohl’s and Macy’s — but not everyone is buying into this new “holiday tradition.”

Over 300,000 people petitioned Target to save Thanksgiving for its employees, their families and customers, and Kmart was blasted on its Facebook page for its decision to stay open for 41 hours straight starting at 6:00 a.m. Thursday.

“We know last year 35 million shoppers were out, in stores and online on Thanksgiving Day, and we’re fully expecting to see just as many this year,” Kathy Grannis with the National Retail Federation said.

For those steadfast employees who have to work their Thanksgiving Day, shoppers on Chicago’s busy Michigan Avenue have some sympathy.

“Sometimes we’ve got to work when we don’t want to work, and it’s just the reality of it. But in the same note, I feel like people do get to be with their families. So, it’s more a choice. To each his own,” shopper Maurice Roy said.

In fact, several stores are choosing to give their workers the day off — closing on Thursday, from Nordstrom to REI, Costco and Sur La Table.

“It’s important to us for our employees who have worked very hard this weekend have a day off to recharge before we go into the Black Friday weekend,” Sur La Table CEO Jack Schwefel said.

Sur La Table CEO Jack Schwefel spoke with CNN via Skype.

“There are plenty of other days to shop. And we’re open 24 hours a day on,” Schwefel said.

It’s a move shoppers don’t seem to mind.

“On Thursday, I think I would [want it to] be closed. Because, personally I’d want to be home with my family. And I wouldn’t want to keep people away from their families,” shopper Emelie Rhee said.

Once the holiday passes and it’s business as usual at all stores, controversy will still follow at least one of them. Employees at the world’s largest retailer, Walmart, plan to strike on Black Friday as a protest over low wages.

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