NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880/1010 WINS) — The holiday shopping season is getting started earlier every year. This year, the big bargains began days before the traditional frenzy on Black Friday – and even Thanksgiving Day is home to big deals.

Thanksgiving isn’t just for turkeys and pigskins these days – this year, more people than ever say they want to take advantage of the day off to do some shopping before the holiday rush.

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WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi reports

1010 WINS Reporter Kathleen Maloney talks with shoppers in Herald Square

WCBS 880 Reporter Monica Miller with shoppers in midtown

“I want to get it done before Black Friday,” one shopper said.

A survey by the National Retail Federation found one in six shoppers wants to hit the stores on Thanksgiving, compared to one in ten shoppers in 2009.

Stores struggling to get out of the red are more than happy to meet the demand.

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“I’m shopping today because I’m going to see if I can find some deals before Black Friday,” said another shopper.

Sears, Wal-Mart, K-Mart and many Gap and Old Navy stores will be open all day on Thanksgiving, all offering pre-Black Friday deals designed to be more enticing than a pumpkin pie.

The Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, N.Y. is gearing up for it’s sixth annual “Midnight Madness” sale Friday. However, this year, even before you’re done digesting your turkey, select stores will open at 9 p.m. Thursday.

“Nine o’clock is the new midnight and we’d rather see people shopping than waiting,” Woodbury’s Michelle Rothstein told WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi.

Not everyone, though, is thrilled with the shift toward a round-the-clock shopping spree.

Bloggers have taken to the Internet, urging customers to boycott the stores that open their doors on Thanksgiving. They say it’s unfair to force employees to work, but employers fire back that many workers are happy to take home holiday pay as the season kicks into high gear.

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