Target Corporation Asked To ‘Save’ Thanksgiving

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Target employee delivered petitions with more than 200,000 signatures to a company representative, asking that the stores Black Friday opening, currently slated for midnight on Thursday, be pushed back.

“That early time opening robs employees of time with their family,” said Target employee Seth Coleman.

Many workers would have to be at the store by 11 p.m. to help get ready for the shopping rush at midnight. But some workers say they will have to work even more hours on Thanksgiving Day.

Coleman, who presented the petition to Target management, said he will have to work at the Northfield Target store on Thanksgiving Day from 4 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and then from 11 p.m. overnight into Black Friday.

“That means I will only have about 10 hours or so of not being at work on Thanksgiving,” Coleman said. “If I’m at work almost the entire day, I have nothing to give thanks for or, at least, no one to give thanks with.”

“A full holiday with the family is not just for the elite of this nation,” Coleman said.

Coleman was asked about his protest, given the fact that so many people are out of work.

“A hundred years ago, a child was lucky to not have his arm caught in a machine at a textile factory. Just because the things are the way they are, doesn’t mean that they are right,” he said.

Unitarian Minister David Breeden was among the protestors delivering the petition.

“Now Black Friday is creeping in to darken Thanksgiving,” he said.

Coleman and other faith leaders handed over the bags of petitions, in Target bags, to Target representative Anahita Cameron who will give them to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel.

“At Target, we deeply value and respect the rights of our team members to express their opinions,” said Cameron.

Cameron went onto to say that the decision to open at midnight on Black Friday was not made lightly, but given the competitive nature of the retail industry, the stores will open at midnight on Thanksgiving night.

“Our guests have expressed that they would prefer to kick off their holiday shopping experience right after the holiday celebrations rather than getting up in the middle of the night,” Cameron said.

Target customers WCCO-TV spoke with were split about the Black Fridays hours.

“They got to keep up with everybody else,” said Theresa Powers. “Everybody else is doing it, why not them.”

“I think they absolutely should not open,” said Wendy Williams. “I think it’s a holiday. I think employees should be able to stay home and I think people can wait until Friday morning to shop.”

Target is not the only retailer opening early. Kohl’s, Best Buy and Macy’s are also opening at midnight. Toy ‘R’ Us and Walmart are opening Thanksgiving night.

The campaign was launched by Anthony Hardwick, a Target employee in Omaha, Neb., after he learned the company’s management had moved the standard “Black Friday” opening time up from 5 a.m. on Friday to midnight on Thanksgiving.

Last week, Target released a statement about the petition and Hardwick saying, “The team member you are referencing is not now, and has never been, scheduled to work on Thanksgiving or Black Friday at Target. Our understanding is that this team member also works full-time for another retailer. In early November, he informed his Target managers that he was scheduled to work at his other job on Black Friday and indicated that he needed the day off from Target. We honored that request.”

More from Susie Jones
  • A waste of everyone's time

    The guy’s an idiot. What does he expect Target to do, ask it’s competitors to stop selling so they have time to catch up? As long as there are buyers, Target and everybody else will be there to ring the cash registers.

    I don’t care if he’s got a million signatures on his petition, the only way to vote is with your wallet. If you don’t like it, don’t shop. If you don’t want to work that day, step aside because there are plenty of people ready to take your place.

    • Barb

      “The only way to vote is with your wallet.”

      Or if there are enough people….your body at a sit-in.

      I definitely want to hear this story. In fact, I am peeved that wcco is giving only those with cell phones the opportunity to express their opinions publicly.

      If there’s anyone I don’t listen to it’s a naysayer. This would be a very different country if our Founding Fathers were that way.

      • My grandpappy saw you at Woodstock

        A sit-in? That’s so 70s. You must still be feeling the effects of Woodstock.

    • Happy Target Employee

      I work for a Target store here in the North-East Metro and I enjoy my job. I love helping our guests and I find my co-workers pleasant and refreshing. I requested to work the overnight Thanksgiving day into Black Friday and will be there. I don’t understand what this young man is attempting to do other than to show that he is not as excited to be a Target employee in retail as some are. I thank God for this job.

      • Save it for the newsletter

        You posted this identical comment a day or two ago, and as you communicate in platitudinous and robotic corporate-speak (“I love helping our guests and I find my co-workers pleasant and refreshing.” Seriously?) you are either an android or someone working out of the Human Resources cube farm over at Target corporate. If you are an android with reading capabilities, and if you read this, please to report back to your programmer that his or her creation has failed the Turing test miserably. If you are a human being, you should indeed thank God for your job, as I doubt you’ll find an environment as forgiving of your second-rate intellect as the bastion of mediocrity that is the HR department in a large corporation.

        In any event, how about you save the Orwellian newspeak for the company newsletter? Try speaking to us like a human being next time.

        • swellcat


  • Taxpayer

    I think there will be more injuries due to trample this Friday. The people lining up at midnight will be at least 2% heavier when storming into the stores.

  • Jaylee1700

    When you take a job working retail you accept the fact that you will be working ver early on Black Friday. I use to work retail and even though they didn’t open until 700AM we still have come in at 1000PM that night to set up the merchandise. As an employee he should just suck it up. So you won’t get sleep one night. Be thankful you have a job

  • KM

    What I do not understand is why this petition is only focused on Target. KMart has been open all day on Thanksgiving Day for the last eight to ten years and never have I heard a peep from anyone regarding it. I do not agree with their decision to be open on Thanksgiving Day, but I let them know by not shopping there. Working retail includes nights and weekends and yes holidays now, but if people don’t wish to work those days, find another field to work in. Target is only doing what the customer wants and I bet they will get pretty busy come midnight.

    • ROBERT


      • KM

        Well, enough people shop there on Thanksgiving Day to make it profitable enough to stay open year after year!!

    • Respect Anyone ??

      Maybe because HE works for Target?? Should he get petitions for the stores he doesn’t work for ?? I hope that Target also gives everything away free, because I’m sure that is also what the ” customers want”.

    • Callie's Mom


  • slaves to retail

    I feel for these people who must work when they were otherwise sleeping. Is it volunteers? They must also deal with the usual late out at night, Drunks who hopefully won’t cause bodily harm to any person who thinks shopping at Midnight is a must. ” Be thankful you have a Job”, statement helps out the slave driving; send all the jobs to China, mentality.

    • Reasearch

      Agreed. I’m so sick of the be thankful you hava a job card. “Can I take a break masta as so my hands can heal?” “No slave. Be thankful you have a roof over your head and food in your stomach.” “Now go trim my shrubs!?”

      • Redneck Purist

        Slave? Who’s a slave? I have zero pity for these people who claim they’re enslaved by their job. I don’t recall ever seeing a Target employee breakin’ a sweat on the job. They call it work for a reason. And a Target job is barely that. Me thinks some people are feeling a wee bit too sorry for themselves. One midnight shift a year hardly constitutes a hardship. Quit whining and get to work or find a new job.

      • Jake

        Well then, if you are SO SMART, create your own business, then you can work whatever hours that you want, then watch the competition eat you alive, assuming you are any kind of ‘competition’ to begin with. Good thing that you weren’t born in the 1920’s or 30’s, you wouldn’t have lasted very long.

  • Blue Light

    Certainly this tool knew he would be working holidays and non-9-to-5 hours when he took the job.

    Fire him.

    • jackactionhero

      Fire him for what? What has he done wrong, dingbat?

  • NH

    I’m not sure why so much attention is being focused on Target. Has anyone bothered to notice that Walmart and KMart are open all day on Thanksgiving? Additionally … with so many people out of work and the US still recovering from the recession … shouldn’t we be thankfull that there are companies doing what they can to profitable? If the companies aren’t profitable they can’t keep people on the payroll. Do we really want more unemployment? Companies are vital to jobs, jobs are vital to people and people are vital to companies … it is how it has always worked. What happened to the people being upset at the corrupt banks and wallstreet backdoor deals ??? They are the ones that created the issues that started the recession … not the employers of the 99%!!

  • Rich Effer

    America sux, HUGE!!

  • M

    Hey, I like to shop, but the only thing I’m going to be looking at on midnight on Thanksgiving is the inside of my eyelids. Nothing is on sale at midnight that won’t be on sale on 6:00 am. And I can’t believe that they will earn any more money opening at midnight than they will if they open at 5:00 a.m.–they actually might lose money given that they have to pay employees to be there when no one else will.

  • patrioticfox

    I worked Christmas eve, Christmas day, and Thanksgiving day, I am glad that I still have a job. This Coleman guy reminds me those “Occupying whatever” people, when things do go their way, the protest like a baby instead of work for what they want.

    • patrioticfox

      Correction——When things DON’T go their way, that is

      • Kieron

        Even you have to admit it’s gotten significantly tougher to work for what you want than it used to be when you were young. Young folks these days often have degrees that are nearly worthless and they’re drowning in student loan debt.

        • patrioticfox

          These Obama’s children made the choice what degree they’d like to pursue, they made the choice to get a student loan when attending universities, no one forced them to do anything. If they don’t like what they do, or the result of it, it’s their own fault, so quit crying to the whole world and try to make others to be responsible for their choice.

          • jackactionhero

            “try to make others to be responsible for their choice.”

            My god are you an idiot. You’re one of the stupid people who think they’re out there as an en masse panhandling operation. That really highlights how mediocre your IQ is, that’s for sure…

  • randy

    Grow a pair buddy…….take a nap after dinner like the rest of America will do then go do your job, before they give it to someone else, whiner !!

    • Dave

      Agreed! This guy needs to find more things to do to fill out his day. There is no reason to single out one corporation when others are doing the same. Target is closed for Thanksgiving. Walmart, not so much. Time to man up..

  • susie

    What about all the healthcare workers that work every holiday at the hospitals and nursing homes? Should we stay home on Thursday?

    • Shelly, RN

      Thank you Susie. This petitioner sounds as though Target employees are the only people being “robbed” of time with their families on the holiday. For most nurses and other direct caregivers in healthcare, working holidays is a simple fact of life that we learn to deal with. Perhaps the petitioner needs to spend his holiday doing something constructive, like filling out job applications to work somewhere else.

      • Citizen

        Critical service jobs are totally different. The services are necessary. Shopping and retail greed is not. Get the difference?

    • jackactionhero

      Healthcare work is a career and one for whom the professionals in the field do with great passion. They receive extensive training and schooling in preparation to be a nurse, doctor, pharmacist, etc.

      Someone scanning tags and hanging shirts isn’t really comparable for contribution and dedication.

  • Abby Blohowiak

    This is ridiculous. I work at Target and this guy took off Black Friday and they let him. Now he’s complaining? What a joke. He needs to get over himself and be happy that he even has a job. Everyone makes sacrifices.

    • jackactionhero

      You’re ok with sacrificing irreplaceable time with your family for $9 per hour on Thanksgiving?

      You sell your family too cheaply.

  • Al

    The whiner, I heard that Target asked for volunteers….This is ridiculous. working on holidays is normal for most workers. Hospitals, power company, police, EMT and fire, support organizations, the list goes on and on. Many occupations require 7X24 coverage. Anyone that signed this petition is an idiot. Remember, on Thanksgiving Day, if you have Thanksgiving Turkey preparation issues call the hotline printed on the packaging.

  • Debby

    HEY!! Midnight is no longer Thanksgiving…it actually IS Black Friday. Quit whining and get your butt to work!!

  • Jeremy

    I am assuming that most of you posting in favor of these hours have the weekend off because your jobs do not require you to work. I believe there is a principle involved here. This country is too dependent on the almighty dollar. Where is the family values?? I work in retail and I agree with this Target employee. Also the headache I have gone through the last 2 weeks when my company found out that all these other companies were opening at midnight and we had to completely rewrite our schedules and entire plans because instead of starting at 4am as planned we were now starting at midnight. My company is only doing it because Target is doing it. My company is Walmart, yea, thats right, I said Walmart.

    I believe many of you would be singing another tune if we suddenly decided that all schools would be back in session for Friday and the DMV would be reopened on Friday and say banks, dentist offices, state construction workers and other such jobs. I hold to the fact that there are some jobs yes that need to work but I do not believe we should be opening this can of worms. Most of you don’t realize that if we retail workers need to be to work for this, we don’t just get to show up when you shoppers do. I will be at my job for 9 hours Thanksgiving morning and then 12 hours starting 8pm thanksgiving night. Thus I will spent 90% of thanksgiving sleeping so I can go back to work. I will not be able to be with my family for more than an hour if at all.

    What happen to holidays?? Vacation time? Should just start opening on Christmas Day? Hell, we are already open until 8pm Christmas Eve shooting most employees plans for a Christmas Service. When does it stop??

    • NH

      Ummm … interesting that you claim Walmart is only opening because of Target. My local Walmart was open last Thanksgiving ALL DAY … and they will be again this year. Open your eyes people every retailer out there is competing for the same business … who will benefit if any large retailer fails? The people who work in retail work there because they either want to or they have to … but at least there is a pay check coming in. If big retail doesn’t compete they go under … why would anyone want higher unemployment??? If you have to work and you want to have a Thanksgiving meal with your family … have it on your day off. The day it happens shouldn’t matter … be thankfull everyday for everything you have.

    • Amanda

      No sympathy from me….II work in healthcare and am working Thanksgiving and Christmas as well. My profession is working all hours 7 days a week. If I waned normal business hours I would find a new career and let the many other people looking for work take mine! Be thankful you have a job.

      • jackactionhero

        Healthcare is a skilled profession.

        Your comparison is not valid.

    • Mark

      Wrong! I don’t work retail and I’m working on Thanksgiving and Christmas! Knew full well when I got hired 18 years ago that my profession worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If I wanted/needed Thanksgiving and Christmas off, I would have to find another line of work. There is no shortage of people willing to fill my position if I leave. If you want to dictate your own hours, start your own company!

    • Jake

      Here is my work schedule for the next week, Jeremy. Work Tues and Wed, have Thanksgiving OFF. Work Friday, off Sat, work Sunday, off next Monday and Tuesday. Is that a great schedule or WHAT, and I’m even in a union. Where can I travel with a work schedule like THAT?? THAT’S LIFE. It’s a good thing that you don’t work for a 24/7 operation, like the police, utility companies, convenience stores, mail/package delivery companies, transportation companies, healthcare workers, the military, etc. SUCK IT UP, you big BABY. Get a different job, or start your own company, then you can work as much, or as LITTLE, as you want to. See where that gets you. A petition? Big effin deal.

      • Jeremy

        Thats part of the problem!!! People in this country think the only way to get through life is to work until you die and hope you get a bit of enjoyment in between. WAKE UP!!! We gave the corporations the power and only we can take it back and put a foot down. But I guess in this country everyone is all alone and we shouldn’t group together and stand up for our rights and values because thats just being a whiny baby.

        • Jake

          It isn’t the EMPLOYER who is demanding the insane hours, it’s the CONSUMER, you idiot. So if you want to put the blame where it belongs, then DO IT. I am not part of the problem, but I definitely know what the solution is. My guess is that most Americans wouldn’t like my ‘solution’.

          • CC

            It’s not about what company is open Walmart Target K Mart whoever. It’s about these businesses being open making money and their employees not having a few hours with their families. As for the Police, Hospitals and essential jobs needed for life and death. Not money.
            I work for Costco and we are not open until 9am. So It is all about the good ol dollar.
            The company has a choice as to open or not if the prices are right the CONSUMER will come and shop no matter what time it may be. My Company does fine for profits. We take care of our employees and our members to.

            • Jeremy

              100% agree.

          • Jeremy

            I just bloody said that. Watch who you are calling an idiot. I said that WE created this problem. And only WE can stop it. What happen to sundays off?? Holidays off??

            One store decided to open and see if they could get some money. And guess what, obviously SOMEONE was dumb enough to go buy something. Domino effect. And now every business and corporation just keeps pushing the limit.

            Kmart did the same thing with the stores they built. They consumer DEMANDED more stores. Until there were so many stores open so much of the time in so many places that NONE were making a profit and the company collapsed. My apologies but I’d like to keep and more major companies of even the country itself from collapsing from some dumb decision.

      • Molly

        I didn’t realize a glory hole-mouth breeder was supported by a union.

        • Jake

          There are more of US than you will ever know….

          • Jake

            So bend over and grab your ankles….

            • jackactionhero

              So, do you feel like maybe you should have paid more attention in school?

              Or were you just destined to be one of the millions who will spend their holidays serving others while the rich are enjoying champagne wishes and caviar dreams…

  • Joan

    No sympathy here! I work for a railroad. These people should be thankful they don’t have to be to work at 7AM Thanksgiving morning, or 3PM Thanksgiving afternoon. AND EVERY OTHER HOLIDAY AS WELL. Sheesh!

    • jackactionhero

      They should be thankful? So it shouldn’t even be up to them?

      Maybe if you had done better in school, and had attented college, you wouldn’t be b1tching and complaining about having to go to work a job that doesn’t give holidays off, eh?

      Failure to plan is planning to fail, Joan, and your plan succeeded perfectly, didn’t it…
      ;-) Happy Holidays

  • Jake

    Waaaaa….WWAAaaaaaaa….. WWWAAAaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!! Where is my pacifier???
    Will somebody change my diaper??? I’m hungry TOO.

  • Mike

    If I was forced to work those long extra hours for Target at my regular hourly wage, I would chew on a clove a garlic, apply a liberal amount of garlic oil to my wrists, put a smile on my face and enjoy the holiday working………………

  • a

    I remember a time when no stores were open on the holidays. How foolish Americans are to buy into big business consumerism. This is about nothing more than corporate greed. You can bet that the top dogs in these fortune 500 companies are not working at midnight on Thanksgiving. Stop complaining and actually do something about it. STOP SHOPPING THESE RIDICULOUS HOURS. I have not gone out shopping on Thanksgiving weekend for at least 15 years and dont plan to start now.

    • NH

      Actually you are incorrect in your assumptions that the top dogs won’t be working. They will be up monitoring their stores, doing store visits and I have even seen them helping stock the shelves … and YES I AM TALKING ABOUT TARGET!!!

      The Team Members at Target both in the stores and at Headquarters are all key in making sure that our customers are safe and that they have a good shopping experience. There will be executives in every corner of the company working on Thanksgiving evening and at 12:01 am on Friday morning and all the way thru to the end of the day Friday.

    • HR

      I also remember a time when life changed and not everyone was born the same era as you. Remember that? Generations change, consumers and society changes, businesses change. Start to bridge the gap!

  • HR

    It’s HOLIDAYS that’s ruining families! Not Black Friday! Thanksgiving is not a day to give thanks…you should do that everyday of your life! Gift-exchange day (aka Christmas) doesn’t need to happen on Dec 25th. Swap it the night before, or the day after! Eat thanksgiving during the lunch hour, or on Friday! Who says you need to celebrate holidays on their day?? We value OUR family sooo much that we rarely celebrate on holidays–it’s always the day before, or the day after, to ACCOMMODATE EVERYONE IN OUR FAMILY’S SCHEDULE! Sadly, if your family can’t move a date for you, they probably aren’t valuing you as much as you’re petition to get stores to move to 5 am.

  • Zathras

    Be thankful you HAVE a job.

    Maybe Target will sell some tiny violins in honor of Mr. Coleman.

  • Corinne Braun

    Funny what people will do to make themselves feel good & like they’re hot stuff.

    Hey – here’s a list of all the Mall of America stores opening at midnight- Yay!!

  • Scott Funk

    I dunno, people. I respect the desire to work, but honestly I think family is more important than working a few extra hours. Some things are more precious than money, and having loved ones nearby on a holiday is one of them. So, I think it’s foolish and greedy to encourage places like Target, Walmart etc to open up super early on Black Friday or any other holiday.

    • Jake

      Scott, I understand your concern, but to have Target and Walmart SINGLED OUT is really being UNFAIR. They are being singled out because they are BIG RETAILERS, but many others will be open for sales, yet none of their names are being mentioned. This is a campaign against big, retail business, and if you think it’s OK, well, more power to you, but there are a lot of good people who will be hurt badly by this campaign. The fact is, if you work for a big retailer, you have a better chance of keeping your job, and being able to weather the bad quarterly results than if you worked for a mom and pop store. So, the goal is to make the employees of BIG companies suffer as much (or MORE) than the little companies?
      How does that help our overall economic troubles??

      • jackactionhero

        “This is a campaign against big, retail business, and if you think it’s OK, well, more power to you, but there are a lot of good people who will be hurt badly by this campaign.”

        Uh, how so? Please be specific.

  • Scott W

    They all are using the excuse that their competitor is doing it, and they need to do it.
    This is all about expanding the sale season to the max. More hours, even if it encroaches on thanksgiving.

    • Jake

      Not a good enough explanation, especially without any relevant data. Somebody is playing some stupid game here thru the media. If you are serious, start naming names, do a wikileaks data leak, do something substantial, instead of spreading rumors that can’t be verified.

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