Some Wal-mart, Target employees protest early Black Friday hours

Posted at 11:45 PM, Nov 17, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-17 23:45:09-05

At Wal-marts across the country, some employees say they will walk out in response to the company kicking off sales as early as Thanksgiving night.

One employee in Chicago says the earlier sales won’t put as much pressure on her as before.

A protest organizer there says participants are demanding respect.

She says they also want to pressure Wal-mart into paying higher wages and offering better benefits.

Some Target employees are also protesting earlier Black Friday deals.

At Target, shelves are decked and decorations hung with visions of sales galore.

Black Friday shoppers get an earlier Christmas gift this year, with doors opening at nine Thanksgiving night.

“I’ll be here, definitely, I will be here.”

Paco Khalafalla is a devout Target shopper who plans to score some deals.

“50 inch LCD TV for sure.”

Target says opening up at 9 o’clock Thanksgiving night provides an after dinner shopping event for the family but online many employees argue it takes those values away.  

On, a Target employee from California started a petition to “save Thanksgiving” for family. Around 150 thousand people signed in support, similar to last year, when employees protested Target’s midnight opening.

“It’s a valid point, Thanksgiving is a family time, how far are we going to go for retail and commercialism?”

“There is an appetite for shopping and it’s becoming earlier and earlier.”

University of St. Thomas marketing professor Jon Seltzer says it comes to competition, stores like Target are simply supplying a demand.

“Nobody wants to come in second in that race, it’s really a question, people are thinking about shopping, they want to go shopping.” 

Like Paco, even though this year, his job at a call center requires him to work on Thanksgiving too.

“I get a lot of time to spend time with my family on days off and I use that time wisely.” 
Toys R Us stores also plan to offer Black Friday deals early at eight Thanksgiving night.

CNN contributed to this story.