Reporting Colin Smith
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Target is not backing down from its decision to open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, despite the opposition of some 340,000 people who signed an online petition.
Casey St. Clair, a Corona, Ca. resident who has been a Target employee for six years, dropped off the petition Monday morning at Target’s downtown Minneapolis corporate headquarters.
The petition, which has been posted on the website Change.org, asks Target to “Save Thanksgiving” and reverse its decision to open Thursday night.
“Now, they’re crossing the line,” said St. Clair, 24. “People that live two hours away from their families and have to go in at 8 p.m., that’s really cutting into their (holiday) time.”
Of 130 petitions that have been posted online asking other big retailers to hold off until at least midnight to open their doors, St. Clair’s has attracted the largest number of signatures.
“I think they’re setting themselves up to open earlier next year,” St. Clair said. “In the past six years I’ve seen Target go from opening at 5 a.m. on Black Friday to now 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night. The entire (holiday) shopping season is creeping toward summer and we need to do something sooner rather than later.”
Target executives accepted the four boxes of signatures when they were dropped off.
“The enormity of asking some of our store teams to work on Thanksgiving night is not lost on us,” said Tim Curoe, vice president of Human Resources for Target. “We’ve heard from many of our team members that they are supportive of our plans, excited to get additional hours, holiday and incentive pay, and understand the need to compete.”
Hundreds of stores had more volunteers wanting to work than shifts to fill, Curoe said.
St. Clair didn’t buy it.
“They’re lying,” St. Clair said, in response. “I was never asked whether I wanted to work. I have no doubt that some of their stores asked their team members, but everyone I’ve talked to in four different states were never asked. For them to say that kind of shocks me.”