Target defends Thanksgiving opening: "There are more volunteers than shifts to fill"

Categories: Target
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Target argues opening on Thanksgiving is a win-win for customers and employees.
Yesterday, a "save Thanksgiving" petition with more than 350,000 signatures was delivered to Target's corporate headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. But if petitioners are hoping Target will reconsider plans for a Thanksgiving evening opening, they're almost certainly in for a disappointment, as last week Target addressed the controversy in a post published on its "A Bullseye View" blog.

-- Target's decision to open Thanksgiving evening sparks renewed "save Thanksgiving" petitions
-- Exhausted Target worker's Black Friday crash defies Star Tribune's bizarre "be happy you have a job" editorial

"When we made the decision to open our doors at 9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the first thing we did was reach out to all of our store leaders and ask them to have discussions with their team members and seek volunteers wanting to work," Tina Schiel, executive VP, is quoted as saying. "We had so many team members who wanted to work on Thursday that hundreds of our stores are now keeping lists of volunteers who want to work if shifts open up."

"Across the company, only one-third of Target's store team members are scheduled to work on Thanksgiving, and we continue to hear from store after store that there were more volunteers than shifts to fill," Schiel added.

And here's a statement from Jodee Kozlak, executive human resources VP:
"Target is a family-focused retailer and we want to do everything we can to respect the time our team members spend with their families. We recognize that our opening time has required many of our team members to adjust their family schedules and we thank them. All team members working on Thanksgiving and certain hours on Friday will receive additional pay. And we're taking extra steps to make sure our teams feel healthy and keep up their energy throughout their shifts."
The blog post also contains Target's response to "Additional Commonly Asked Questions related to Target's Thanksgiving weekend hours," including "Why the earlier opening?" (in short, Walmart's doing it), "Will executives have to work on Thanksgiving?" (it depends), and "What about the petitions?" (it's a free country). To read Target's responses in full, click to page two.

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