PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Call it Black Friday creep — the desire of some retailers like Macy’s, Toys ‘R Us, Walmart, and Target to get a jump on Black Friday by opening at midnight or earlier on Thanksgiving.
Some find the trend disturbing, infringing on Thanksgiving family time.
“I would probably prefer that families have a chance to spend time at home, rather than working at the stores if possible,” says Bob McLaughlin of Cranberry. “I think everyone could adjust their schedules to accommodate.”
While shoppers get to choose whether to give up their holiday, there’s little choice for employees.
For stores like Target to open at midnight on Black Friday, that means that employees must come in on Thanksgiving Day. It also means that those employees — if they’re going to stay awake during those early Friday hours — they’re going to have to sleep on Thanksgiving as well.
One Target employee in Nebraska has organized a petition drive, asking the store to push back its opening to 5 a.m. on Friday so workers could celebrate the holiday with their families.
So far, over 87,000 supporters have signed.
Point Park University Dean of Business Angela Isaac says Black Friday is a big undertaking for retailers.
“It needs a lot of its employees on the ground. It needs to have people stocking the shelves in an effort to assure that customers are getting what they want, so the customer experience is pretty intense at that point,” says Isaac.
“That means all hands must be on deck for the firm. All hands on deck means that all the employees have to be there.”
Tough as that is, some think employees should stop complaining.
“Right now you’re lucky to be employed,” says Bonn McSorley of the Strip District. “I think a lot of restaurants are working at that time and on Thanksgiving Day, so I think you’re lucky to have a job, and I don’t think it’s a big deal.”