NEW YORK — Macy’s will open about 750 of its 800 stores at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, breaking its tradition of keeping closed on the holiday.

This story first appeared in the October 15, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The announcement Monday confirmed a WWD report on Oct. 8. Macy’s said the decision was based on customers being interested in starting their holiday shopping early, and is consistent with many other retailers that open for business on Thanksgiving Day. It’s expected to be a very competitive holiday season, with sales gains industry-wide expected to be no higher than 3 percent, according to analysts and research companies.

Last year, Macy’s opened four hours later, at midnight of Black Friday. Lord & Taylor, on Fifth Avenue and 38th Street here, will again be open on the holiday this year, after opening on Thanksgiving Day for the first time last year. Other major Manhattan flagships — Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue — will remain closed.

Macy’s said to minimize the impact on associates, it began planning the holiday opening early to allow associates the time to review available shifts throughout the holiday season, including Thanksgiving weekend, and to volunteer for the shifts they prefer. The flagships on Herald Square in Manhattan, Union Square in San Francisco and State Street in Chicago are among the openings.

The retailer also disclosed a slew of limited-time deals on hundreds of items starting Thanksgiving Day including $19.99 Rampage boots; $39.99 Charter Club cashmere crewnecks; $9.99 Your Choice coffee makers, and $49.99 Tag Fairfield III five-piece luggage sets. Macy’s said its Black Friday hours may vary by store.

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