Target plans to stay closed for Thanksgiving again this year, but boycott is still there

By the time you’re reading this, you might have already spent your Thanksgiving at a Target. If you did, it would be the first time you did so in more than three years.

And if you haven’t, you’ll get another chance to hit the Target store you love the most on this night. That’s because the retailer said Wednesday it will continue to keep most stores closed on Thanksgiving for the next two years. It was part of a long-term plan to spend more time focused on the holiday season.

The move wasn’t enough to end the company’s boycotts. About 150 retail workers have started a legal fight that argues staying closed on Thanksgiving violates their right to an hour or two of pay. Local unions have also launched similar protests.

Here’s what Target said about it today in a statement:

“We listened to our guests and store associates in Minneapolis as well as across the country. We heard their desire to stay closed on Thanksgiving – something that a growing number of retailers are doing, including many of our team members. And it allows us to put our focus and resources on the holiday season. We’re pleased we can serve as an important partner in this important time for our guests. We are proud of our team’s generosity and empathy for their fellow team members who have chosen to be home with family.”

Workers were critical of Target’s shift.

“Our fight is not over,” Elise Weaver, a Pittsburgh store worker and activist with the One Million Jobs campaign, told Wednesday. “Workers and other allies are organizing at Target stores across the country and fighting for better working conditions for our families.”

“It’s not about closed stores,” Deborah Koch, a worker who has been organizing against the change, told The Huffington Post. “It’s not about a golden egg hunt. It’s about rewarding our families instead of treating us like crap.”

A Target spokeswoman also said the employee protests were not related to this change, but they do reflect workers’ frustration over fewer paid time off days.

Stores like Walmart and TJ Maxx remain open for business on Thanksgiving this year. The Walmart Foundation has released a survey of shoppers who spent about $47.8 billion on the holiday, according to Fortune. That’s up about 3 percent from last year.

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