A Target employee from California started an online petition calling on the stores to give back Thanksgiving to employees and their families.
Now there are more than 40 petitions to "Save Thanksgiving" on Change.org with more than 238,000 signatures.
But experts say when it comes to competition stores like Target are simply supplying a demand.
"There's an appetite for shopping and it's becoming earlier and earlier," said University of St. Thomas professor John Seltzer. "Nobody wants to come in second in that race. It's really a question people are thinking about shopping, they want to go shopping."
Target says opening up at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night provides an after dinner shopping event for the family. Many employees, however, argue that it takes those values away.