This year Black Friday ads were met with petitions and protest this year by employees, shoppers and concerned consumers. Many people feel that the Thanksgiving Holiday has been erroded into a profit over people consumerism drive that makes employees of retail chains miss out on family time during this holiday season.
It’s not the actual idea of Black Friday sales that people like Anthony Hardwick made an online petition for Target’s midnight opening but the timing itself. Target is requiring employees to come in early this year on Thanksgiving day which means employees will not be able to share all of Thanksgiving with their families. So far, Anthony Hardwick’s petition has reached over 200,216 signatures at it’s Change.org home.
The Target Black Friday store hours weren’t the only stores that received petitions. Most other stores like Wal-Mart Black Friday hours, Toys R Us Black Friday hours and more were petitioned online and protested. In addition to the online petitions, Occupy Wall Street protests joined the bandwagon of protesting Black Friday. The Occupy movement feels that Black Friday deals are a direct example of the corporate greed that has gotten worse in America.
Regardless of all the Black Friday petitions and protests, this Black Friday is expected to make record numbers in attendance this year. The National Retail Federation states that up to 152 million shoppers are expected to visit stores this weekend compared to 138 million people last year. They state on their press release:
“Though there are already plenty of great deals on everything from e-readers and smartphones to apparel and toys, Americans know there is only one Black Friday – and the best is yet to come. According to a preliminary Black Friday shopping survey, conducted for the National Retail Federation by BIGresearch, up to 152 million people plan to shop Black Friday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), higher than the 138 million people who planned to do so last year. According to the survey, 74 million people say they will definitely hit the stores and another 77 million are waiting to see if the bargains are worth braving the cold and the crowds.
“Though many retailers are already touting select Black Friday ads, there’s no doubt we’ll all be blown away by what retailers still have in their bag of tricks for shoppers,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “We fully expect to see excited shoppers as early as midnight at stores around the country, as many holiday shoppers would rather stay up all night to take advantage of retailers’ Black Friday deals rather than set their alarm to wake up the next morning.””
Store Hours for Black Friday have remained the same despite the protests and petitions, they are as follows:
Toys R Us Black Friday is the earliest starting at 9pm
Target’s Black Friday hours start at midnight
Walmart Black Friday sales start at midnight too
Macy’s & Best Buy Thanksgiving Black Friday Hours are midnight
Kohls is also doing the midnight Black Friday with 500 early bird deals
Sears & JCPenny Black Friday Hours will be two of the later ones at 4am on Friday
Barnes & Noble will be opening later at 7am on Friday
It does show that not all stores this year are encroaching on Thanksgiving holiday plans and family time. Although the early hours on Friday are still hard on retail employees it still lets them be home during the hours of Thanksgiving day. The one thing consumers can do to stop stores from opening early is to not actually go during these early hours. It will remain to be seen whether the National Retail Federation’s study holds true this year and more people show up and shop for Black Friday sales.