People got super excited last month when REI announced that they'd be closing all of their stores on Black Friday and instead paying all 12,000 of their employees to go enjoy the outdoors. Now, in a move that's pretty much the opposite of that, Target has announced that the company plans to open its stores at 6p.m. on Thanksgiving day.
According to a report from Fortune, Target first began opening stores on Thanksgiving day in 2012 when they opened 9pm The following year they opened an hour earlier, at 8pm, and last year they opened at 6pm.
“Six p.m. continues to be the right opening time for us,” Target Chief Stores Officer Tina Tyler said during a news briefing. “It felt good to us last year to be able to allow those family traditions to take place around Thanksgiving, but also let shopping be part of it."
In 2011, nearly 200,000 people signed an unsuccessful petition asking Target not to open at midnight so that employees could stay home with their families. Other retailers have also been opening earlier and earlier to stay competitive and keep up with the Black Friday madness -- JCPenney will open at 3pm on Thanksgiving Day this year.
The Fortune report also pointed out that "the early openings yielded mixed results for many stores" in previous years, that "in many cases, the move simply shifted the timing of sales rather than enlarging the Thanksgiving retail pie altogether," and that a recent survey found that "only a small minority (12%) of shoppers even want to go to stores on Thanksgiving."
In other words, employees will have to miss spending Thanksgiving dinner with their families and the early opening might not even have a significant impact on the company's revenue. Ugh.