Black Friday: Best Buy Shares Deals, Target Worker Fights Hours
Just as retailers are bringing different approaches to Black Friday, customers and employees have mixed reactions to what's in store for the biggest shopping day of the year.
While Richfield-based Best Buy Company is revealing its doorbusters early in an attempt to lure bargain shoppers, a worker employed by Minneapolis-based Target Corporation is fighting its decision to open doors at midnight this year.
Numerous retailers, including both Target and Best Buy, have announced that they'll open their doors at midnight on the day after Thanksgiving-although Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn said he wasn't happy about the race to unlock doors early because it impacts employees' Thanksgiving plans. Last year, Target stores opened at 4 a.m. and Best Buy stores opened at 5 a.m.
Best Buy also recently began sharing its doorbuster deals, which it and most other retailers used to keep closely guarded until Thanksgiving Day for fear that competitors would match their prices. Among the just-announced Black Friday deals: a Sharp 42-inch LCD HDTV for $199.99, a Samsung laptop with Intel Pentium processor for $299.99, and a Toshiba Smart Blu-ray player for $39.99.
Meanwhile, Target's day-after-Thanksgiving plans are being challenged by an unhappy store employee. Anthony Hardwick, a worker who lives in Omaha, is upset that the retailer's plans will cut into his Thanksgiving-and he has started a petition through change.org to disrupt those plans.
“A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day,” Hardwick wrote on the online petition. “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!”
Hardwick indicated that he is petitioning Target President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel to push back store openings to 5 a.m. on Black Friday, and roughly 87,000 people had signed it mid-day Tuesday.
Hardwick, who is reportedly 29, told the Star Tribune that he's been a part-time Target parking attendant for three years and that he began the petition two weeks ago after learning that he and his coworkers would have to report to work at 11 p.m. November 24 for a 10-hour shift.
Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder told the Minneapolis newspaper that Hardwick “will not be disciplined for starting the petition or voicing his opinion.” She added that Target's position is that customers “want to shop Target following their Thanksgiving celebrations rather than only having the option of getting up in the middle of the night.”
In addition to Best Buy and Target, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Gap, Kohl's, Toys 'R' Us, and more than 100 stores at the Mall of America plan to open at midnight on Black Friday or sometime on Thanksgiving day. Target announced last month that it will launch a pilot under which 29 Denver-area stores will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Best Buy and Target are among Minnesota's three-largest public companies based on revenue.