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Retailers staying open Thanksgiving at receiving end of backlash, protests and petitions

Posted at 12:35 PM, Nov 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-25 12:36:34-05
Walmart workers all across the country set to strike

Walmart is among several retailers that are kicking off Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving.

NEW YORK (PIX11) – With Black Friday being one of the busiest shopping days of the year, some retailers are trying to cash in on bargain-hungry shoppers by remaining open on Thanksgiving.

Walmart, Kmart, Macy’s, and Target, are among some of the stores that are at the receiving end of protests and internet backlash for deciding to be open for the holiday. Black Friday deals will kickoff at Walmart at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day — which is two hours earlier than last year. Not to be outdone, Kmart is set to open at 6 a.m., and will stay open for a full 41 hours straight.

A “Save Thanksgiving” petition on Change.org asking Target to remain closed on Thanksgiving has close to 100,000 signatures.

Duncan Mac Naughton, Walmart’s U.S. chief merchandising and marketing officer said that associates will get a Thanksgiving dinner at work and most are “really excited” to work the holiday. “We appreciate each of our associates and the time that they dedicate,” Mac Naughton said.

Other retailers, like Costco, Apple, Home Depot and American Girl, are not joining in on the staying-open-on-Thanksgiving trend. “Out employees work especially hard during the holiday season, and we simply believe that they deserve opportunity to spend Thanksgivingwith their families,” Costco’s vice president for membership and marketing, Paul Latham, told the Huffington Post.

Retailers make between 20 and 40 percent of their annual sales from Black Friday and Christmas, and with six less shopping days this year, they’re trying to get the most they can out of holiday shoppers.