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Target confronts backlash over early Black Friday opening

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Minneapolis-based Target Corp. Friday defended its decision to open stores at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving-night to get a jump on the traditional Black Friday blitz, the Pioneer Press reported.

The company took to its blog to say company-wide, only one-third of Target store team members are scheduled to work on Thanksgiving night, and that at many stores, there were "more volunteers than shifts to fill."

Target confirmed the Thanksgiving-night opening earlier this week. On Friday, the company noted that there is no corporate policy mandated that people have to work on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.

However, a Target employee in California who started a petition on Change.org to dispute the early opening, says in a statement released by the website that there was a sign at her store listing out "blackout dates" that employees couldn't take off, and Thanksgiving was among them.

Her petition so far has 231,000 signatures.

Target competitor Walmart, meanwhile, will begin its Black Friday sales at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, and that most Walmart stores will already be open Thanksgiving morning, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Richfield-based electronics retailer Best Buy, meanwhile, will open its stores on Black Friday at midnight, MPR added.

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