Target employees petition retailer to "save Thanksgiving"

Target is facing a backlash from its own employees as the clock ticks down to the craziest shopping day of the year: Black Friday.

In the escalating arms race to get as many crazed shoppers in the door as possible, Target announced it would be opening its stores at midnight on Thanksgiving. That includes all Minnesota locations.

While one's initial thought might be, "Who'd want to be shopping on Thanksgiving night?" the better query is, "Who'd want to be working?"

As it turns out, no one.

A Target parking attendant in Omaha has touched off something of an online revolt against the retailer by starting a petition called "Tell Target to save Thanksgiving."

In order to make their midnight opening, the petition points out, workers will need to be in stores ready to go by 11 p.m. That means if there's any hope of sleeping before the shift, employees would have to say sayonara to holiday plans that don't end before 3 or 4 p.m.

It reads in part:

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!

It asks Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel to change the hours back to the traditional, already-crazy Black Friday opening time of 5 a.m. So far, the petition has collected roughly 99,000 signatures and the count is ticking steadily upward.

It may all be for naught, however. Target has already sided with its looniest customers, saying in a statement that "we are making it easier than ever to deliver on our guests' wants and needs."

They're not the only ones. Mall of America will open its doors at midnight, and Walmart is set to open even earlier -- 10 p.m. It's all an attempt to boost what is predicted to be a lackluster holiday shopping season. Target has also already announced extended hours for Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas.

While there's likely some Target employee who'd rather be stocking socks than talking to the in-laws, sounds like one hell of a start to the folly-day season.

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