NEW JERSEY 101.5

Employees in the retail industry are reacting to the fact that more stores are starting to offer their biggest deals on Thanksgiving Day, as 'Black Friday' becomes a term of the past.

Shoppers lined up at 3 p.m. last Thanksgiving for the 9 p.m. Target opening in Manalapan. (Townsquare Media)

A week from tomorrow, many of us will be celebrating a day of thanks and saying a prayer before cutting into the turkey, but it's a regular workday for thousands of people across New Jersey who are being asked to come in and accommodate a discount-hungry crowd.

Store websites and leaked Black Friday ads indicate that many major retailers plan to open their doors for a few hours, or never close them, on Thanksgiving. Some "doorbusters" require customers to be in the store at 6 p.m.

Anthony Michael Rivera, an employee at Menlo Park Mall in Edison, has started an online petition to delay the mall's current scheduled opening of 8 p.m. Thursday.

"I don't think you have a substantial amount of time to spend with your family or just relax," said Rivera, a Somerset resident. "I think Thanksgiving is just that time you have just to relax and not have to worry about anything, and enjoy time away."

Rivera's campaign pushes for a 2 a.m. Black Friday opening, which he still considers "absurd."

"All it does is highlight corporate greed," Rivera added. "I think it is 100 percent a slap in the face to your employees."

Simon Property Group, which owns Menlo Park Mall and hundreds of shopping destinations across the country, has some locations opening as early as 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. A spokesperson for the group said the special hours are designed to meet customers' needs.