Stores face backlash to early Black Friday opening

November 22, 2012 6:34:14 PM PST
Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, but some retailers have decided to get an earlier start by opening their doors Thanksgiving night. And not everyone is happy about it.

Retailers are starting Black Friday deals Thursday night and are facing criticism. Some employees even signed online petitions. But as a consumer, if you're looking for a deal, bargains start at Walmart at 8 p.m.

Walmart is hoping more shoppers will head out early. This year they made a move that left many people scratching their heads. In a push to be first, they are opening their doors at 8 p.m., two hours earlier than last year

"8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, I don't mind it for me, but I feel bad for everybody working," Thanksgiving Day shopper Michael Nash said.

And he's not alone. For the second year in a row, workers at Target, Walmart and Toys "R" Us have signed online petitions asking for Thanksgiving Day off. There is even a flyer being circulated to Walmart employees, pushing for a demonstration at one of the stores in San Leandro, to highlight what they say are "concerns around worker conditions and safety."

Last holiday season there were two shootings in the parking lot -- one on Thanksgiving night and one on Black Friday.

On Thursday we spotted cameras trained on the parking lot, mobile security roaming the aisles, and a San Leandro police officer watching from a distance.

"I'm not walking out," Walmart employee Aurora Munoz said. "I'm walking out at 3:30 when I get off work, but I'm not walking out." Munoz saw the flyer calling for a demonstration, but says she's here because she wants to be and loves what working for the company as a clerk has provided for her, "It's been great since I've been here. I have my benefits, we have Kaiser, Health Net, we have 401K, we have stock."

And Munoz has one more thing to add to that list, a holiday wish, "For my whole family to stay healthy, that's my Christmas wish, and my friends."

Black Friday deals are not a myth. According to analysts, consumers who shop on Black Friday average a savings of 16 percent.

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