(St. Cloud, MN) -- The countdown is on to "Gray Thursday and Black Friday." Simon Stroschein, a Target-St. Cloud logistics team leader, says they are ready for the big crowds. Target will be opening their doors at 9pm on Thursday. This is the earliest the store has ever opened for the kick-off to the holiday shopping season. Activists dropped off more than a quarter-million petition signatures at Target's downtown Minneapolis headquarters earlier this week, asking executives to rescind their decision to be open-for-business on Thanksgiving night.