NEW YORK — J.C. Penney is opening its doors on Thanksgiving evening to kick off the holiday shopping season, as the beleaguered retailer hopes to get back in the game for the crucial selling period.

Based in Plano, Texas, the chain will open most of its 1,100 stores at 8 p.m. on the holiday, the same as rival Macy’s, and will be open 25 hours straight, closing at 9 p.m. the next day.

The Thanksgiving evening opening is much earlier than last year, when Penney didn’t open until 6 a.m. Friday.