Minneapolis-based Target Corporation said Monday that its stores will open their doors at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, three hours earlier than last year—a decision that’s drawing criticism.
 
“We heard from our guests that they look forward to kicking off their holiday shopping with deal-hunting on Thanksgiving night,” Target Executive Vice President of Merchandising Kathee Tesija said in a statement. “Opening at 9 p.m. gives Target’s Black Friday guests a more convenient way to create an after-dinner shopping event that the entire family can enjoy.”
 
The retailer said that some of its top deals include an Apex 32-inch LCD TV for $147, a Nikon L310 digital camera for $99.99, the Nook Simple Touch e-reader for $49, and a Razor lighted-wheel scooter for $19.
 
At 4 a.m. Friday, Target will release several additional “doorbuster” deals. And from 4 a.m. until noon on Friday, customers who spend at least $50 on clothing accessories or home products will earn a $10 Target gift card to use toward a future purchase.
 
Not everyone is happy about Target’s decision to open on Thanksgiving. A Corona, California woman who claims to be a Target employee submitted an online petition at change.org, asking the retailer not to open on the holiday; as of early Tuesday afternoon, the petition had been signed by more than 190,000 people.
 
“Since workers need to show up sometimes hours before the [store] officially opens, this will take much of Thanksgiving away from retail employees across the country,” she wrote. “Target can take the high road and save Thanksgiving for employees like me and our families by saying no to ‘Thanksgiving Creep.’”
 
Target joins a number of other retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving. Walmart stores will open at 8 p.m. that evening, two hours earlier than last year, and additional sales will start at 10 p.m. and at 5 a.m. Friday.
 
Sears stores, too, will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Last year, Sears stores were closed on Thanksgiving, but Kmart stores—which are operated by the same company—have long been open on Thanksgiving.
 
Kohl’s and Macy’s, meanwhile, will both open their doors at midnight Friday—the same time as last year.
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