Target defends Thanksgiving opening: "There are more volunteers than shifts to fill"
Target argues opening on Thanksgiving is a win-win for customers and employees.
Yesterday, a "save Thanksgiving" petition with more than 350,000 signatures was delivered to Target's corporate headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. But if petitioners are hoping Target will reconsider plans for a Thanksgiving evening opening, they're almost certainly in for a disappointment, as last week Target addressed the controversy in a post published on its "A Bullseye View" blog.
-- Target's decision to open Thanksgiving evening sparks renewed "save Thanksgiving" petitions
-- Exhausted Target worker's Black Friday crash defies Star Tribune's bizarre "be happy you have a job" editorial
"When we made the decision to open our doors at 9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the first thing we did was reach out to all of our store leaders and ask them to have discussions with their team members and seek volunteers wanting to work," Tina Schiel, executive VP, is quoted as saying. "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."
"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," Schiel added.
And here's a statement from Jodee Kozlak, executive human resources VP:
"Target is a family-focused retailer and we want to do everything we can to respect the time our team members spend with their families. We recognize that our opening time has required many of our team members to adjust their family schedules and we thank them. All team members working on Thanksgiving and certain hours on Friday will receive additional pay. And we're taking extra steps to make sure our teams feel healthy and keep up their energy throughout their shifts."
The blog post also contains Target's response to "Additional Commonly Asked Questions related to Target's Thanksgiving weekend hours," including "Why the earlier opening?" (in short, Walmart's doing it), "Will executives have to work on Thanksgiving?" (it depends), and "What about the petitions?" (it's a free country). To read Target's responses in full, click to page two.
Why the earlier opening?
The holiday season is highly competitive, and Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest shopping times of the year. Target's opening time was carefully evaluated with our guests and team members in mind. Our opening time this year reflects the feedback we have heard from our guests - many prefer to shop following their family gatherings rather than in the very early hours of the morning.
Will executives have to work on Thanksgiving?
At Target we believe that it's important for our team -- and particularly our leaders -- to be actively involved throughout the weekend. As the doors open Thursday night, the majority of our leaders at headquarters and throughout the country will be in stores meeting our guests, working together with our store teams and celebrating their outstanding efforts.
How early will team members have to be in the store on Thanksgiving?
Typically hourly team members are asked to clock in at a store no more than five minutes before their scheduled shift begins. The majority of our team will need to arrive less than one hour prior to the store's opening.
Are team members forced to work or prohibited from requesting Thanksgiving or Black Friday off?
There is no corporate policy mandating that people have to work on Thanksgiving or Black Friday and our staffing needs vary from store to store. Across the company, about one-third of Target's store team members are scheduled to work on Thanksgiving and less than two-thirds of our team members are scheduled to work on Friday. Team member preferences were considered when creating the schedules and our store leadership teams are continuing to have conversations with their team members to address any concerns.
What about the petitions that are circulating online?
We respect the right of all of our team members and guests to express their opinions. We encourage our team members to speak directly with their team leadership to work together to address any concerns they may have.
What kind of additional pay do team members get?
All hourly team members who work on a national holiday, including Thanksgiving, receive pay equal to time and a half their hourly pay rate and all team members who work specified hours on Thanksgiving and Friday will also receive additional shift and holiday premium pay.
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