On Monday afternoon, a Target employee delivered a petition with over 190,000 signatures in protest of Target’s decision to open their stores at the wee hour of midnight on Black Friday morning this year. The petition was just about 7000 signatures short of their 200,000 signature goal.
The “Save Thanksgiving” petition was started by an Omaha, Nebraska Target employee. The signatures were collected electronically through change.org. The petition asked Target to “Push back the opening of retail stores on Black Friday to 5am,” and read:
“A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day. 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 nights rest on Thanksgiving!”
The petition was delivered in six red and white plastic Target bags, to Target’s Minneapolis headquarters, by Seth Coleman. Coleman has identified himself as a seasonal Target employee, and says he is scheduled to pull a double shift on Black Friday, November 25. His first shift starts at 4 AM.
Target issued a statement in which Anahita Cameron, a Target director in human resources, said “The decision to open at midnight on Black Friday was not one we took lightly. As that is the busiest shopping day of the year, it is imperative that we be competitive. Our guests have expressed that they would prefer to kick off their holiday shopping by heading out after their holiday celebrations rather than getting up in the middle of the night.”
Employees of other major retailers have started similar petition drives, including those of Best Buy, Macy’s, and Walmart.