Following reports on Friday, Target Corp. is officially joining several other major retailers, including its Arkansas-based rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc., that are kicking off the holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving, the Star Tribune reports. Minneapolis-based Target stores will open its doors at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22 -- three hours earlier than a year ago.
“We heard from our guests that they look forward to kicking off their holiday shopping with deal-hunting on Thanksgiving night," Kathee Tesija, Target's executive vice president, Merchandising, said in a news release. "Opening at 9 p.m. gives Target’s Black Friday guests a more convenient way to create an after-dinner shopping event that the entire family can enjoy."
A Target employee in California has already started a petition protesting the retailer's decision. It has garnered more 160,000 signatures as of Monday morning.
About 190,000 people signed an online petition protesting Target's plan to open at midnight on Black Friday last year.
MSN Money reported a copy of Target’s Black Friday circular is already on deal websites.
Walmart has announced that it will be opening its stores for Black Friday sales a full-hour earlier — 8 p.m. — on Thanksgiving night, and that most Walmart stores will already be open Thanksgiving morning, Minnesota Public Radio reported.
Minnesota-based electronics retailer Best Buy will open its stores on Black Friday at midnight, MPR added.
Last month, Target announced it will price-match other online merchants, including Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com and Toysrus.com, between Nov. 1 and Dec. 16.