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Sears to join Kmart this year by opening stores on Thanksgiving Day

Hoffman Estates, Ill. - Kmart's been doing it for the past 21 years, and now its sister retailer Sears is following suit, opting to open its doors on Thanksgiving Day across the United Sates, with a few market exceptions.

The move comes in response to requests from customers and members of the company's "Shop Your Way" program.

Parent company Sears Holdings explained the program's members and shoppers said recently that they needed "more flexible Black Friday in-store shopping times" and also showed "eagerness to shop doorbuster deals."

"We appreciate our Shop Your Way members and want them - and all of our customers - to shop Sears and Kmart when they want, how they want," said Ron Boire, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer and president, Sears and Kmart Formats. "Extending our hours is the first of several announcements we'll make this holiday season to benefit our members and provide them with valuable perks and privileges."

Additionally, Shop Your Way members of Sears and Kmart will be offered a preview of Thanksgiving and Black Friday deals at searslocalad.com or kmartlocalad.com. Shop Your Way is a free, members-only program that offers rewards, daily sweepstakes and personalized deals and services such as e-coupons and e-receipts.

The only Sears and Kmart store not participating in the Thanksgiving Day opening are those in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and Puerto Rico, per their respective state laws. However, stores in Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts will open at 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 23, and Puerto Rico stores will open at midnight on Nov. 23. In addition, stores in some jurisdictions may have different hours of operation if required by local law.

Otherwise, Sears stores will open at 8 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day and stay open overnight until 10 p.m. on Black Friday. Kmart stores will be open from 6 a.m. local time until 4 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and reopen from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Black Friday. Both retailers will be closed Christmas Day.

Sears will feature two rounds of doorbusters - one round when the doors open at 8 p.m. on Thursday for late-night shoppers who want to beat the crowds and get great deals early, and additional doorbusters on Friday starting at 4 a.m.

Earlier this season, Kmart and Sears also announced free layaway until Nov. 21 at Kmart, and Nov. 2 to Dec. 3 at Sears. Customers also can now shop layaway online and take advantage of Kmart and Sears new ship-to-home feature on all layaway items.

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