Black Fri. Controversy Continues; Target Says Many Want to Work
A Target employee in California reportedly delivered more than 250,000 signatures to Target Corporation’s Minneapolis headquarters on Monday, asking the retailer to reconsider its plans to open stores at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving—but Target is insisting that many employees are eager to take holiday shifts.
The California employee, reported to be named Casey St. Clair, says she’s worked at Target for six years, and asked the retailer to “take the high road and save Thanksgiving for employees like me and our families by saying no to ‘Thanksgiving Creep.’”
As of mid-day Thursday, her online petition at Change.org had more than 365,000 signatures.
But Target recently said that the opening time was “carefully evaluated with our guests, team, and the business in mind” and that staff preferences were considered when staffing schedules were created.
On Target’s blog, Executive Vice President of Stores Tina Schiel said that after making the decision to open stores on Thanksgiving, the company asked store leaders to seek volunteers wanting to work.
“We had so many team members who wanted to work on Thursday that hundreds of our stores are now keeping lists of volunteers who want to work if shifts open up,” she said. “Across the company, only one-third of Target’s store team members are scheduled to work on Thanksgiving, and we continue to hear from store after store that there were more volunteers than shifts to fill.”
Hourly workers are paid time-and-a-half on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and there is no corporate policy mandating that people work on either of the two days, Target said.
Target isn’t the only retailer that’s facing criticism related to Black Friday. A group of Walmart workers in both California and Seattle reportedly walked off the job Wednesday and Thursday. Those were the first of 1,000 protests, which will include strikes, rallies, and “online actions” that will lead up to and occur on Black Friday, according to Making Change at Walmart, a group that purportedly includes Walmart associates, union members, and others who are “challenging Walmart to help rebuild our economy and strengthen working families.”
Walmart stores will open their doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Kmart will kick off Black Friday sales at 6 a.m. that day and claims to be the first retailer in the Twin Cities to do so.
More than 180 stores at the Mall of America will open their doors at midnight on Friday, the megamall recently announced. (To see a list of Mall of America stores opening at midnight, click here.)
Meanwhile, Chanhassen-based Life Time Fitness has found a different way to get in on the Black Friday action. The fitness chain said Monday that it will offer members more than 30 deals related to health and healthy living on that day. Examples of its deals include a $20 5K registration; 25 percent off personal training; and a $99 spa package that includes a one-hour massage, facial manicure, and mini pedicure. (To see the rest of the deals, click here.)
To see Target’s Black Friday deals, click here.
To see Black Friday deals from Richfield-based Best Buy Company, whose stores will open at midnight on Friday, click here.