A retail revolution of sorts as Anthony Hardwick’s online petition against Target’s midnight opening time for Black Friday is building steam. Target opened their store last year at 5am for Black Friday shoppers. This year Target has decided to try and beat other retailers to the Black Friday sales event by opening their store at midnight and requiring workers to be in the store at 11pm.
Mr. Hardwick listed this as the petitions description:
“A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day. By opening the doors at midnight, Target is requiring team members to be in the store by 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation — all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night’s rest on Thanksgiving!
Join me in calling for Target retail stores to push back their original opening time of 5am on Black Friday.”
People are definitely responding by signing this petition in numbers that are gaining quickly. This petition first received some media attention when the New York Times interviewed Anthony and featured other similar situations going on around the country during Black Friday ad specials. It seems that in 2011 people are sick of all the focus of Holidays being centered around consumerism and shopping.
On Anthony’s petition people are allowed to leave comments and people can rate them. The top comments speak a lot about the way people feel this year about more and more retailers invading Thanksgiving dinners and family time for the holidays. Some of the top rated comments are as follows:
Bryce Allison says, “It’s a national holiday not a national shopping day… maybe try giving thanks for your employees that bring you so much money”
Deborah Schwartz says, “I’m so tired of turning on the news the Monday after Black Friday and having to hear about how much money the big retailers did or didn’t make. As if that’s the point of our year-end holidays. I’m tired of Christmas being promoted BEFORE Halloween. I’m sick and tired of these attempts to brainwash us into thinking Christmas is about how much money we spend. Every American has the right to spend Thanksgiving with their families – its a national holiday! This is employee-abuse, plain and simple, and an threat to EVERY American worker. Target, stop exploiting your employees! (Thanks, Anthony, for creating this petition.)”
Caroline Hemenway says, “This is absurd! Corporations are treating their workforce like serfs and fomenting a toxic consumer culture. Pure, unadulterated greed. Those who succumb and “buy” into this by shopping on a holiday devoted to THANKS for meaningful graces in our lives, have zero, absolutely zero, moral depth. Shoppers with moral character will boycott all stores that do this.”
Jared de Lage says, “It is time to stop letting retailers determine the course of our lives. Holidays used to be about something special. Now they are about spending and commercialism. And what about the workers? This is their holiday, too.
I say Enough!”
So it certainly seems that Anthony Hardwick’s efforts are striking a cord with the American public and they’re joining forces this year against early Black Friday Doorbuster events that encroach on family time. The Occupy Wall Street movement seems to be spreading into every corner of American life as people protest and stand up for what they believe in. Anti-consumerism and greed protests are becoming commonplace and retailers this year just may have to answer the right way or be boycotted.
In the late hours of November 14th, 2011 an update was made the the, “Tell Target to Save Thanksgiving” petition that revealed Toys ‘R’ Us will be moving up their Black Friday hours as well to 9pm. The website says, “Toys ‘R’ Us announced today that it plans to open their store at 9pm on Thanksgiving Day, increasing pressure on other chains in what’s become a retail “arms race” for post-Thanksgiving customers. What store will be next?”
Will the retail stores listen to Black Friday protests or will they ignore America’s desire to allow retailer workers a full day of holiday celebration with their families?