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The Boston Globe

Business

Blue law restrictions on Thanksgiving rile merchants

As national retailers plan to kick off the holiday shopping season earlier than ever with hours on Thanksgiving Day, some Massachusetts merchants are starting to question whether the state’s Colonial-era blue laws, which prohibit Thanksgiving openings, are becoming outdated.

With stores in neighboring states such as New Hampshire set to open on Thursday night and Internet shopping always available, Massachusetts’ restrictions may just be sending sales elsewhere, said Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, the state’s largest retail trade group.

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