Five years ago, big-box giant Walmart surprised the country by announcing that its Black Friday sales would start on Thanksgiving night. Die-hard Black Friday shoppers cheered the decision, while die-hard turkey day enthusiasts claimed the move destroyed the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday and forced both employees and customers to abandon their families.

The two sides have battled ever since, as more and more stores have jumped on the early-sales game. But the tide might finally be turning. This year a number of stores have announced they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. And one is taking things even further and closing for Black Friday, too.

According to the website Bestblackfriday.com, 55 stores will keep their doors closed on Thanksgiving, including Costco, TJ Maxx, Lowe's, Pier 1, Petsmart, H&M, Ikea, Marshalls, Office Depot and Office Max, HomeGoods, Patagonia and Raymour & Flanigan. Here's the full list:

  • A.C. Moore
  • Abt Electronics
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors
  • At Home
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Blain’s Farm and Fleet
  • Burlington
  • Cabela’s
  • Cost Plus World Market
  • Costco
  • Craft Warehouse
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Dillard’s
  • DSW – Designer Shoe Warehouse
  • Ethan Allen
  • Gardner-White Furniture
  • Guitar Center
  • H&M
  • Half Price Books
  • Harbor Freight
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Home Depot
  • HomeGoods
  • Homesense
  • IKEA
  • JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores
  • Jos. A. Bank
  • La-Z-Boy (all corporately owned stores)
  • Lowe’s
  • Marshalls
  • Mattress Firm
  • Micro Center
  • Mills Fleet Farm
  • Music & Arts
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Office Depot and OfficeMax
  • Outdoor Research (closed Black Friday too)
  • P.C. Richard & Son
  • Party City
  • Patagonia
  • Petco
  • PetSmart
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • Publix
  • Raymour & Flanigan Furniture
  • REI
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sears Hometown Stores
  • Shoe Carnival
  • Sierra Trading Post
  • Sportsman’s Warehouse
  • Sprint (Corporate & Dealer Owned Stores; Mall Kiosks May Open)
  • Staples
  • Stein Mart
  • Sur La Table
  • The Container Store
  • The Original Mattress Factory
  • TJ Maxx
  • Tractor Supply
  • Trollbeads
  • Von Maur
  • West Marine

Family time (and online shopping) rule

When asked why the stores were closing for Thanksgiving, the response was the same. Store managers want their employees and customers to have time to spend with their families, time that's not interrupted because an employee has to go into work or because a shopper doesn't want to miss out on holiday sales. That's a message many shoppers will likely reward when stores do open on Black Friday.

In 2015, outdoor retailer REI bucked the holiday shopping trend even further by announcing that all of its stores would be closed on Thanksgiving and also on Black Friday. Instead, REI encouraged its employees and customers to #OptOutside, for a weekend connected with family and nature. That move resulted in 1 million new memberships for the store.

According to a poll conducting by the BestBlackFriday.com, almost 40 percent of shoppers "strongly dislike" it when stores are open on Thanksgiving Day, while only 5.6 percent are in favor of it. This coincides with a report released last year that found shopping at brick-and-mortar stores had decreased on both Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day.

With Americans reluctant to give up their post-turkey family time in search of the best deals, and with many stores now offering "doorbuster" sales online, it's no wonder cybershopping has become the name of the game for the holiday season. While foot traffic decreased at many stores on Black Friday last year, Adobe reported that online Black Friday sales topped $3.34 billion, an increase of 21.6 percent from the previous year. On Thanksgiving Day, Americans spent almost $2 billion online, up 11.5 percent from 2015.

The trend to lure shoppers in early by kicking-off Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day may finally be turning, as more shoppers are skipping the crowds and doing their shopping — no matter the day — from home.