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Target Responds To Petition Against Midnight Opening

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Target is joining other retailers like Macy's, Best Buy and Kohl's by opening at midnight on Black Friday That decision has resulted in an online protest.

An Omaha, Neb. Target employee has begun a petition drive on Facebook saying the store is ruining Thanksgiving for its employees.

So far, more than 90,000 people have signed the petition asking Target CEO Greg Steinhafel to change the opening of Targets nationwide to 5 a.m.

Target may be the only store that is the focus of major petition drive, but they are not alone in opening early.

Toys R Us and Walmart are going to be open Thanksgiving night. Target said they decided on the midnight opening because of competition and customer demand.

Consumers, like Laurie Coleman who was shopping on Tuesday at the Bloomington Target, said she looks forward to Black Friday.

"I do a lot of comparing up until Black Friday and then once I see the ads, 9 times out of 10, I find better deals then I had prior to," Coleman said.

But some Target employees are not happy about the midnight opening and having to report to work at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.

Anthony Hardwick, a part-time Target employee from Omaha, began a petition on Facebook called "Tell Target to Save Thanksgiving."

"Where will it end? If we lose Thanksgiving as just another holiday shopping day, are we going to start looking at Christmas with hungry eyes next?" said Hardwick.

Target issued a statement on Tuesday saying "Black Friday is one of the busiest and most competitive shopping days of the year. We have heard from our guests that they want to shop Target following their Thanksgiving celebrations rather than only having the option of getting up in the middle of the night."

And while petition comments on Facebook blast the midnight shopping start as " bizarre," Coleman said she can't wait.

"We will be hear at midnight, oh without a doubt ... We shop until we drop," she said.

Target released an additional statement on Tuesday afternoon about the employee who started the Facebook petition:

"The team member you are referencing is not now, and has never been, scheduled to work on Thanksgiving or Black Friday at Target. Our understanding is that this team member also works full-time for another retailer. In early November, he informed his Target managers that he was scheduled to work at his other job on Black Friday and indicated that he needed the day off from Target. We honored that request.

Target does our best to work around the schedules of all of our team members, making every effort to accommodate their requests. Target will offer holiday pay to all hourly team members who work on Thanksgiving Day."

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