Some Target employees bristle over Black Friday hours

Target store in West St. Paul, Minn.
MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel

A Target employee in Omaha has started an online petition urging the retailer to open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

Employee Anthony Hardwick said Target's planned midnight opening on Black Friday will ruin many employees' Thanksgiving Day celebrations. So far, more than 80,000 people have signed Hardwick's petition on the website. Hardwick said a later opening would help restore the sanctity of Thanksgiving.

"If it goes back to five, people will be able to stay up in the evening, have their evening Thanksgiving dinner with family, go to bed at a reasonable time," he said. "But as it stands now, folks are going to have to go to bed at one, two or three o'clock in the afternoon, just to get enough sleep for a shift that starts at 11 p.m. and doesn't end until seven or nine o'clock the next morning."

Target says Black Friday is one of the busiest and most competitive shopping days of the year and customers have clearly signaled they want to start shopping at midnight following Thanksgiving celebrations. Many other major retailers will also opening late on the evening of Thanksgiving.

Similar petitions are being circulated in regards to other retailers that also are opening stores midnight on Black Friday.

Morningstar retail analyst R.J. Hottovy said retailers will give shoppers want they want.

"It's pretty much become ingrained in consumers' minds that that's when the deals are to be had for Black Friday. And we've seen a continuation of earlier and earlier starts to Black Friday. With a lot of the promotions based the early hours themselves, I think it's tough to reverse the course," he said.

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