savethanksgiving2On Monday, a Target employee delivered a petition to Target Corporation in downtown Minneapolis asking for the retailer to delay the opening of its stores on Black Friday.  Target is scheduled to open at midnight Friday morning to compete with retail giant Wal-mart.  Target is making it mandatory for their (scheduled) employees report to work at 11 p.m. Thursday night to gear up for the crowds.

More than 190,000 signatures of upset Target employees and shoppers have been gathered.  Employees are saying, “Target is putting us in a difficult position.  They are forcing us to choose between Thanksgiving, spending time with family, sleep, and work.”

Anahita Cameron, Target’s Human Resources Director for Northern Region Stores was on the receiving end of the three plastic Target shopping bags filled with signatures. Cameron said, “The decision to start early wasn’t made lightly and it was imperative the company stay competitive with other retailers.” Cameron told the Star Tribune, “Our guests have expressed that they would prefer to kick off their holiday shopping by heading out after their holiday celebrations rather than getting up in the middle of the night.” Interesting reasoning.

As one that loves to battle the crowds of bargain shopper, I was extremely surprised to hear that Wal-mart is opening its doors at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night.  They will be offering some deals then while rolling out their big ticket items, such as electronics, at midnight.  As someone who has conquered the crowds on many Black Fridays, I just can’t believe that stores are opening earlier and earlier.  I remember when 7 a.m. was early, now its 10 p.m. the day before.  Wow!

What is happening to our consumer-driven society? Are consumers really demanding these early opening times? What is too early for Black Friday shopping?  What are your guesses on what time stores will be opening next year? Will you be shopping tonight, or tomorrow? Share your thoughts in the comments, and enjoy your Thanksgiving!