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‘Tis The Season! More Than 185,000 People Sign A Petition Asking Target Not To Open At Midnight On Black Friday

Submitted by on November 21, 2011 – 6:08 pmNo Comment

Thanksgiving used to be about family, friends, and our colored history of stealing America from the Indians. But these days, Thanksgiving has become about sales, shopping until you drop, and a holiday called Black Friday.

Typically on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, big stores like Macy’s, Sears, and Best Buy promise rock bottom prices and open up in the wee hours of the morning to allow shoppers even more time to rack up on all the coveted sales. But this year, Target decided to open even earlier on midnight, forcing workers to arrive to their jobs at 11PM on Thanksgiving evening. The move was enough to piss off one Target worker and inspire him to fight for change.

Target employee Anthony Hardwick from Omaha, Nebraska started a petition on Change.org that has since received about 186,646 signatures and counting. “A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day,” Hardwick wrote. “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! Join me in calling for Target retail stores to push back their original opening time of 5 a.m. on Black Friday.”

Anthony Hardwick launched a petition requesting that Target open its doors at 5AM on Black Friday instead of midnight on Thanksgiving.

In response to his petition, Target released a statement of their own. First, they revealed that Hardwick was never even scheduled to work on Black Friday in the first place. “[Hardwick] is not now, and has never been, scheduled to work on Thanksgiving or Black Friday at Target,” said Molly Snyder, a spokesperson for Target. “Our understanding is that this team member also works full-time for another retailer. In early November, he informed his Target managers that he was scheduled to work at his other job on Black Friday and indicated that he needed the day off from Target. We honored that request.”

Hardwick credits his petition and ability to cause a “national media stink” with getting the day off from work.  “No one in retail requests Black Friday off and gets it. It’s a blacked out date,” he said. “I didn’t start this for my own personal gain. I started it for my team members and retail employees around the country.”

Target, meanwhile, insists that they are just responding to the demands of the buyers. “Black Friday is one of the busiest and most competitive shopping days of the year,” Snyder said. “We have heard from our guests that they want to shop Target following their Thanksgiving celebrations rather than only having the option of getting up in the middle of the night. By opening at midnight, we are making it easier than ever to deliver on our guests wants and needs.Target does our best to work around the schedules of all of our team members, making every effort to accommodate their requests. Target will offer holiday pay to all hourly team members who work on Thanksgiving Day.”

Target isn’t the only store with plans to open on Midnight. Macy’s, Gap, Banana Republic, Kohl’s, Old Navy and Best Buy also have plans to open at midnight. Walmart is scheduled to open at 10pm and Toys “R” Us is leading the way with their announcement that they are opening their doors at 9PM on Thanksgiving evening.

What do you think: Should Thanksgiving be more about giving thanks than giving sales—or should stores have the right to open their doors whenever they want?

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