A petition against a Thanksgiving night opening for Target stores nationwide Friday has amassed more than 70,000 signatures since it began two weeks ago, but will it be enough for the retail giant to alter its plans?
Anthony Hardwick, a 29-year-old Target employee in Omaha, Neb., created the petition in response to the midnight opening of Target, as he believes he should be spending time with family rather than preparing for Black Friday shoppers at work.
With the midnight opening, employees like myself will have to leave for work right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, he said. We don't mind hard work, but cutting into our holidays is a step too far.
Hardwick told The New York Times that he would have to sleep before reporting to work at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving and work until his Friday shift at his other job, OfficeMax, begins.
Though Hardwick does not mind working on Black Friday, he suggested that Target should just open at 5 a.m. instead.
Since his interview with The New York Times last Thursday, the signatures on the petition have raised exponentially: from 2,000 to more than 70,000 as of Monday evening.
A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day, the petition read. By opening the doors at midnight, Target is requiring team members to be in the store by 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation -- all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night's rest on Thanksgiving!
This year, Target, Macy's, Best Buy and Kohl's will open at midnight and Wal-Mart at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in response to high consumer demand for low prices on holiday shopping items. Last year, Target opened at 4 a.m. on Black Friday, a tradition that some stores, like Sears and JCPenney, are still upholding for 2011.
According to the National Retail Federation, more than 60 percent of consumers say they will be impacted by the economy in their holiday shopping, with discounts being key to score the perfect gift for loved ones on America's unofficial national shopping day.
However, The New York Times reported that some consumers are not going to take part of the holiday shopping extravaganza on Black Friday, as it cuts into their own family time on Thanksgiving or has become too overwhelming to endure, even for the immense savings.
Even though it's a desperate time doesn't mean that we should trade all the ground that our fathers and our grandfathers, everyone that came before us, fought really hard for, Hardwick said.