By Dan Kedmey
November 11, 2014

Target on Monday announced its earliest ever Black Friday sale with plans to open doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, in an aggressive bid to boost holiday sales after a year of lackluster earnings and store closures.

The big-box retailer joined a growing list of stores that have pushed their Black Friday openings from post-dinner to pre-dinner hours, including Macy’s, Kohl’s and Sears.

“We know our guests are pulled in a million different directions as the holidays get underway, so we’re helping them save time and money by offering more access to Black Friday deals,” Target said in a statement.

The movement has also triggered a backlash from labor advocates and from competitors that have vowed to keep stores closed during the Thanksgiving holiday, including Coscto, Home Depot and Nordstrom.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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