Retailers are quick to point out there are six fewer shopping days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's almost a full week so for Walmart and a few others, every day counts, including Thanksgiving.
One San Jose Walmart will open at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and stay open for 36 hours, through midnight on Black Friday. A former Walmart associate says employees won't dare call in sick.
"If they call in, [Walmart managers] threaten to write them up or to fire them. They're afraid they're going to get fired if they don't come in," said former Walmart employee Lori Mandeville.
Walmart showed displayed a tabletop of specials that will be offered on Thanksgiving. From an iPad Mini for $299 to a 32-inch HDTV for $98, incentives for shoppers to come into the stores are plentiful.
But not all shoppers buy it.
"I don't like the idea. I think it's a family time. And last year I did go out after Thanksgiving with my daughter-in-law because there were certain things that she really needed to get, but just for me personally, it's a family day," said Connie Gray of San Jose.
Another shopper knows it's a hardship on employees, but that's the nature of retailing.
"I always feel bad for them, but sometimes you just got to do what you got to do," said Walmart shopper Diane White.
Kmart is joining Walmart in opening at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving. And they're not alone. So are a number of other national retailers.
"Our associates understand that our job is to save our customers money so that they can live better. And here's a great opportunity to give them those savings that our customers can have a better holiday season," said Walmart store manager Chad Van Every.
The Schulenburg family knows what it's like not to have mom at home on Thanksgiving. She was at work the past two Thanksgivings. However, she believed she was helping others to save money.
"It's worth it because you're making sure that the customers are satisfied, and they get the deals. You know, that's all that you can have, is the deals, help, you know people with their money. I mean, the economy's not too great," said former Walmart employee Tara Schulenburg.