Black Friday 2011: Some Shoppers Say Earlier Openings Ruin Thanksgiving

Major chains like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Kohl’s, eager to be the first to draw customers' sales this holiday season, say they will open for the first time at midnight on Thanksgiving, and some shoppers are not too happy about the idea.

The announcements have generated a wave of negative responses on Twitter, Facebook and blogs from Black Friday shoppers who feel that the Thanksgiving day midnight openings are crossing the line.

"MensHumor" sent a tweet saying, "Shopping the day after Thanksgiving? Sorry, I'll be in labor with a massive food baby."

"C'mon, must black friday shopping really cut into Thanksgiving? Don't we deserve one day away from consumerism," complained "Wiscowwoman2011" on Twitter.

The early openings could force shoppers to camp out in front of stores hours earlier - moments after Thanksgiving dinner for some.

Most of the objections reflect sentiments like those of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, the Times reports. In addition, more attention is being paid to workers' rights and decisions coming from executives.

Brian Dunn, the chief executive of Best Buy, told The New York Times that the midnight opening "became an operating imperative for us" after competitors moved their openings back. "I feel terrible," he said.

Anthony Harwich, a Omaha, Neb., Target employee started an online petition at to "push back the opening of Target retail stores on Black Friday to 5 a.m." The petition had more than 3,000 signatures as of Friday.

"A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day," states the petition letter. "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 nights rest on Thanksgiving!"

Facebook also has a "Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving Day" page in protest of the early openings. On the page, people are encouraged to call up retail chains scheduled to be open and demand they be closed.

Despite the insistence of some stores to remain open, a handful of retailers are holding out, like J. C. Penney, which will open at its usual 4 a.m. on Friday. "We wanted to give our associates Thanksgiving Day to spend with their families," Bill Gentner, senior vice president for marketing, told The New York Times.

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