Who drives US retail?
If you've been to an Old Navy over the last 10 years, you know the answer. The stores used to be divided down the middle, pretty much; guys merchandise on one side, ladies on the other, with some kids stuff tucked in as well. Repeat for the Gap, Banana Republic (which used to be a really cool catalogue nothing like the current store at all), Eddie Bauer, etc.....
Old Navy even had old Chevy pickups as the main decoration:
Now, like all the other stores, guys get about 1/3 of the space. Why?
Women shop. Marketing research, no doubt, drove men out of the malls and stores because they weren't the ones buying stuff.
I remember the women in the family shopping on Black Friday back in the day, and we all thought they were nuts, going shopping first thing Friday morning, then it became 6am, then earlier and earlier, then Midnight, now it's on Thanksgiving itself.
Why? The stores want to lengthen the season as much as possible, that's why you can Christmas shop in September at Sam's and Costco. The REAL shopping, however, starts after Thanksgiving, just ask any retailer. Extending that by a few hours is HUGE.
So, women will shop, and if they think there's a deal (whether or not there really is one: see every outlet mall in America), they will shop more, and because of this, stores open earlier, stay open later, and do whatever is necessary to give women the opportunity to shop.
When you complain about the damage to family values over stores being open on Thanksgiving, the sad truth is that it's your Mom's and sister's and Aunt's fault.
If they stayed home, and didn't clamor for a bargain, Target would be closed.