As stores up the ante with earlier holiday hours that creep into Thanksgiving night, Black Friday is turning into Black Thursday, and some shoppers and employees aren't happy about it.
Toys R Us said Monday that it will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, an hour earlier than last year and the earliest of any retailer so far this year. Walmart will open at 10 p.m., two hours ahead of last year's midnight opening. Other stores, including Target, Macy's, Best Buy and Kohl's, will open at midnight.
Anthony Hardwick, a cart attendant at a Target in Omaha, started a campaign to protest the decision to open at midnight, four hours earlier than last year. His petition, on Change.org, calls for Target to push its opening to 5 a.m. Friday. The petition had 62,000 signatures as of late Monday.
"With the midnight open, you're going to cut into a lot of people's family time because you have to rest up if you're going to be working overnight," says Hardwick, 29. He says he'll be in bed by 2 or 3 p.m on Thanksgiving.
ConsumerSearch.com found in a recent survey of 1,003 people that 87 percent felt retailers should stay closed on Thanksgiving. "There's definitely a family spirit around Thanksgiving that people don't really want to see adulterated," says Christine Frietchen, editor-in-chief of the site.