For the retail industry, Black Friday officially kicks off the holiday sales season. The day after Thanksgiving typically features heavily discounted prices on popular merchandise that drives many consumers to wait in line for hours before stores open in the hope of landing a bargain.
The tactic has been so successful that popular retailers Macy's Inc., Best Buy Co., Kohl's Corp. and Target Corp. have started opening their doors at midnight on Thanksgiving evening. (Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this year is going a step further -- opening its doors at 10 p.m.)
The strategy of opening doors early has at least one Target employee upset. Anthony Hardwick, a part-time employee at a Target store in Omaha, Neb., says asking employees to show up to work at midnight on Thanksgiving evening is too much to ask of employees.
"With the midnight opening, employees like myself will have to leave for work right in the middle of Thanksgiving Dinner. We don't mind hard work, but cutting into our holidays is a step too far," Hardwick says in a statement released by Change.org, a social-change advocacy website.
Change.org says more than 7,000 people have signed Hardwick's online petition at its website, calling on Target to reverse its decision.
Should Target refuse to reverse it decision, Hardwick says, the company may become the object of "consumer backlash."
In an emailed response, Target tells AOL Jobs its decision was based on comments from consumers who said they wanted additional options beyond getting up "in the middle of the night" for a 5 a.m. opening
"By opening at midnight, we are making it easier than ever to deliver on our guests wants and needs," says spokeswoman Molly Snyder.
She adds that the company does its "best to work around the schedules of our team members, making every effort to accommodate their plans."
As bad as Hardwick may think he has it, pity the poor Target employees in Denver, where Target has announced plans to open 29 of its stores on Thanksgiving Day for "limited hours" -- 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- as part of a pilot program.
Results from the test will help Target determine possibly expanding Thanksgiving Day hours in other markets in the future, the Minneapolis-based company says in a statement.
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