MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota Target employee will join with consumers and faith leaders Monday to deliver a petition to Target Corp. headquarters in Minneapolis on Monday asking the retailer to drop its plans to open at midnight on Black Friday.

The petition drive on the activist web site Change.org was started by a Target store worker in Nebraska who was dismayed that the early opening would force many employees to spend part of Thanksgiving working instead of celebrating with their families.

More than 180,000 people had signed the petition by Friday evening, and it sparked a similar campaign against Best Buy Co. Inc.

Target and other retailers that have joined trend of ever-earlier starts to the holiday shopping season say they're just responding to consumer demand in an increasingly competitive environment.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)