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Anthony Hardwick, a Target employee, recently started a petition to urge the company to not open their doors at midnight on Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Concerned about his coworkers and the fact that many would like to spend the day with their families (or just resting), Hardwick wrote:

“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 night’s rest on Thanksgiving!”

Each year, retailers have been opening their doors earlier and earlier to capitalize on shoppers’ incessant need for a good deal. Many stores offer “door busters” to lure shoppers in before dawn, and customers happily oblige.

But what about the workers?

Target’s employees aren’t the only ones upset they have to work on Thanksgiving. Similar petitions by employees of Wal-Mart and Best Buy urge the giant retailers to give their workers a break…at least until 5 a.m.

Hardwick told the finance radio show Marketplace he started the petition because he felt like workers were given no choice but to accept the unconventional working hours.

“It was just like, this is what you’re going to be working on Black Friday, take it or leave it,” Hardwick said. “And most people are so desperate to keep their jobs that you know obviously we’ve got to take it.”

Retailers claim they are opening on Thanksgiving to serve the demands of their customers.

Wal-Mart executive, Mac Naughton released a statement saying, “Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we’re going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.”

Toys“R”Us Chief Marketing Officer agreed, saying, “We know our customers like to get an early start on their Black Friday shopping, so we’re offering more savings than ever and providing even more hours to save by opening our stores at 9pm on Thanksgiving night.”

But are customers really clamoring to tear themselves away from their friends and families to cash in on deals or are retailers disregarding the Thanksgiving holiday to maximize profits?

How soon is too soon to open stores on Black Friday?

What say you, Clutchettes and Gents….will you be lining up on Black Friday (or Thursday)?  

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  • Tracie

    I completely agree with the petition. Greed has really taken over for many businesses not just retail. Im sure the CEO’s of these companies are not up at the crack of dawn, why work their employees to the point they cant enjoy a holiday b/c they never get to experience one b/c they have to work. I work part-time for in retail (plus a full time job) and they try to work me like im full time…I feel so bad for the full time ppl in retail b/c they never get a holiday. Its sad. And the least they could do was allow a few hours to sleep in. Its kills me how ppl camp outsides, and fight to get into a store to get a $5 toaster…whats the big deal with openning later, that same $5 toaster will be there. Black Friday is so over rated, and what so sad is ppl don’t even acknowledge the actual holiday (Thanksgiving) they are just concerned about Black Friday. I could go on, but I will stop.

    I hope those who read this, take the time to think about the ppl that are in retail, and how they (whether you agree or not) sacrafice time from their family and cut their own rest to ring up your $5 toaster at 2 a.m. in the morning and is being yelled at by a previous customer b/c they wouldn’t let her use her 20% off coupon. Retail is something serious.

  • Julie

    I shop online 24/7 – so no way am I demanding stores open earlier.

    The workers need to be with families, friends, just relaxing, being in church/synagogue, volunteering with the poor, sick, elderly — anything but “at work” on major holidays.

    It’s not healthy. Not for individuals, not for society. Good capitalism shouldn’t shun healthy downtime just for someone to get a so-called edge.

    Gracias. *End of Rant.*

  • Dragonfly

    I am actually a Target employee myself, and I am curious to see how many people get on board with this petition. I know that some of my colleagues were equally displeased about the new hours, while others liked that, working that first shift, they can get their workday over with early and spend the rest shopping themselves.

    Yeah, SOME consumers *prefer* to be up later than to wake up earlier, but if the major retailers decide to have more reasonable hours, do you know what these same consumers are going to do???? Wake that ass up, stand in line and STILL give up the cash for what they want…and then go on about their lives. No, this isn’t about the preferences of the consumer. It’s the simple fact that the more hours these retailers are open, the longer these companies will have to get paid that day, employee family-time be damned.