Over the years, retailers have begun opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday in order to make the most of the biggest shopping day of the year. This bottom line-driven phenomenon is not-so-lovingly known as “Black Friday creep,” conjuring images of something amorphous and sinister rolling slowly through the night to overtake Thanksgiving — and that’s not too far off, really.
Just ask Casey St. Clair, a Target employee whose recent petition to get the retail giant to stay closed on Thanksgiving night (rather than opening with Black Friday deals at 9:00 pm as scheduled) inspired a veritable revolt among retail employees and customers alike.
Her email via Change.org read, in part:
In the last week, over 230,000 people have signed my petition asking my employer, Target, to change its Black Friday shopping hours to let employees have Thanksgiving dinner with our families.
We have real momentum, and this Monday, I’ll be delivering my petition with over 230,000 signatures to Target Headquarters – click here to join us and add your name.
After I was on TV, my manager offered me Thanksgiving day off. But I declined. This isn’t about just me — it’s about respecting one of the few days retail workers have a year to spend time with loved ones.
While Target is certainly not alone in opening on Thanksgiving (Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Sears and KMart will be the first large retail chains to open with Black Friday sales at 8:00 pm), it has received the brunt of the public’s ire thanks to the petition.