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Excited About Midnight Black Friday Sales? Well, Workers Aren’t

Black Friday workers
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

This year, stores like Target, Macy’s and Kohls plan on beginning their Black Friday sales at midnight on Thanksgiving in order to claim a piece of the retail pie. While this may be beneficial for the company and customers, the workers seem to be getting the short end of the stick.

Target employees in particular are not happy about the change, with one even starting an online petition called ‘Tell Target to Save Thanksgiving’ that’s now been signed by more than 87,000 people.

In response to the midnight openings, retail giant Walmart announced it would open at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night, which has some of the most devout shoppers questioning the change of Thanksgiving into a shopping day rather than the family holiday it’s always been.

Caroline Hemenway, one of the signers of the Target petition, wrote, “This is absurd! Corporations are treating their workforce like serfs and fomenting a toxic consumer culture. Pure, unadulterated greed.”

Not all companies are following Target’s and Walmart’s lead, though. Bill Gentner, senior vice president for marketing at J.C. Penney, which won’t open until 4 a.m. on Black Friday, told The New York Times, “We wanted to give our associates Thanksgiving Day to spend with their families.”

But Steve Schuknecht, general manager of the Tanger Outlet Center in Howell, Michigan, says his mall is opening at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving “to stay ahead of the curve,” adding, “I don’t like the fact I have to come in on Thanskgiving, but when you work in retail it’s the nature of the beast.”

[CBS News]

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