“Black Thursday” store openings draw protests

This year, Thanksgiving will look more like Christmas, and with many stores opening hours earlier, it will feel like it, too. Black Friday is turning into Black Thursday.

“I think it’s wrong,” Target shopper Rob Ochoa said. “I think they should think about their employees and not their profit margin.”

Some employees may be happy to pick up some overtime or holiday pay on Thanksgiving, but not all of them.

One Target employee, Casey St. Clair, felt the change in hours was unfair, so she wrote a letter to Target’s CEO. Part of it read: “Will you join me and ask Target to give Thanksgiving back to the families and not open on Thanksgiving evening.”

“I have no problem with Black Friday,” Casey St. Clair said, “I just want it to stay on Friday.”

In a matter of days, the letter she wrote went viral and more than 200,000 have signed the petition.

Since Casey St. Clair’s petition went viral, she was told she does not have to work Thanksgiving if she doesn’t want to, but she refused saying it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of her Target coworkers.

On the holiday, Target will open at 9 p.m., which is three hours earlier than last year’s midnight opening.

 “We’ve heard from many stores that they had more team members volunteer to work than they had available shifts,” Target said in a statement.

Other stores opening on Thanksgiving Day, like Toys R Us and Wal-Mart, are also defending their stance.

Duncan Mac Naughton from Wal-Mart said: “So, it’s eating your Thanksgiving dinner, it’s doing the dishes, and then it’s get some exercise at Wal-Mart.”

According to the National Retail Federation, 24 percent of shoppers were at a store at midnight on Black Friday. Now, many will start their shopping for the holiday, on a holiday.

“People want to stay up and not get up early,” Stacey Wojdyla, a Target shopper, said. “It’s the stores’ decision in my opinion.”

Luis Smith agrees: “They have to generate revenue, so I understand the whole Black Friday thing, but it’s not my cup of tea.”

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