Target corporate offices confirmed today that the nationwide retailer will open its doors for Black Friday at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, according to a prepared statement from Target Corporation.
The decision comes in the wake of last week's announcement by Walmart to open its doors nationwide at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Despite the competitive business spirit being culminated by the monolithic retailers, it would appear Target employees are not quite as enthusiastic about the decision.
More than 162,000 people—as of 1:30 p.m. on Monday—have signed a petition on Change.org started by California-based Target employee Casey St. Clair calling on Target to “save Thanksgiving” and stick to a Friday opening time.
St. Clair writes, "Target can take the high road and save Thanksgiving for employees like me and our families by saying no to 'Thanksgiving Creep'."
The petition letter reads in part, "I'm not complaining about being a minimum wage worker. Target, as a company, does some good and maintains a commitment to charity. Thanksgiving, though, is one of the three days retail workers get off a year, a day most spend with family. The issue is not black Friday, though it's not exactly this country's shining moment. Every year the opening time gets pushed ... ."
It would appear St. Clair is not alone.
In the past week, more than 40 new petitions have been created on Change.org calling on retailers to allow families to spend Thanksgiving together and open on Friday—many of them focused on Target.
In November 2011, more than 200,000 people joined Target employee Anthony Hardwick’s Change.org petition calling on Target to save Thanksgiving for its employees, their families and consumers by opening on Black Friday instead of on Thanksgiving itself. In addition to receiving national media coverage, Hardwick’s petition inspired more than 150 other Change.org petitions asking major retailers to save Thanksgiving and put employees and families first.
“Building off of the incredible energy we saw around Black Friday opening times on Change.org last year, it’s remarkable to see so many employees and consumers calling on retailers once again to ‘Save Thanksgiving,’” said Charlotte Hill, communications manager at Change.org. “It’s clear that the concerns reflected in Casey and Jennifer’s petitions are resonating with people.”