According to AFA president Tim Wildmon, a half million more #BoycottTarget pledge signatures were hand-delivered to senior management at their headquarters earlier this week. Members of AFA leadership spoke briefly with senior management about their bathroom and fitting room policy which allows persons of either sex to use whatever facility they identify with, regardless of their biological gender. This policy caused a monumental backlash which has now caused 1.5 million people to stop shopping at the stores and saw their revenues and stock prices plummet.
"American Family Association is again appreciative that Target representatives were willing to accept the signatures of another 500,000 Americans who are alarmed by this ongoing policy," Wildmon said. "Yet, even after the retail chain struggled with multiple negative headlines over their sinking sales this past year, Target gave no indication it would make any changes to this policy that is alienating millions of families."
Even though Target representatives were gracious and respectful, they ultimately rejected AFA's offer to call off the boycott if they rescind their dangerous bathroom policy.
"They basically repeated what Target CEO and Chairman Brian Cornell said during an interview on CNBC, 'We're going to continue to embrace our belief in diversity and inclusion…,' code-words for sticking with its dangerous policy of allowing men to use women's dressing and bathrooms," Wildmon says.
Last year, after the AFA delivered the first million signatures, Target stated it would add single-stall restrooms in stores not already equipped with them, but has otherwise not altered the policy.
"Therefore," Wildmon continued, "AFA's #BoycottTarget campaign will continue as strong as it began, and we are confident that tens of thousands more will join the movement and voice their concerns over Target's policy. We will not back down from this very destructive and agenda-driven policy and will continue to fight for the more than 1.5 million Americans who have already signed the #BoycottTarget pledge.
"Most importantly," he added, "we ask that all who agree with AFA's #BoycottTarget pledge remain committed to not visiting Target stores or shopping online through Target.com. Target's financial numbers have shown that these families who have chosen to shop elsewhere are making a huge difference."
As the AFA reports, just last week the embattled retailer announced its 2017 first-quarter earnings. Same-store sales fell 1.3 percent, while overall revenue in the first quarter dropped 1.1 percent from the same period a year ago, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Target could not have picked a worse time to anger customers who were already beginning to shift their purchasing power from in-store to on-line retailers such as Amazon. This was already contributing to a serious decline in foot traffic in their stores, a problem that was only exacerbated by the bad publicity they engendered after announcing their controversial bathroom policy.
In addition to their money woes, Wildmon reports that leadership problems abound at Target these days with stockholders seeming to question whether the company is in qualified hands.
Target CEO Brian Cornell, who came aboard in 2014 after a massive data breach of customer information in 2013 that prompted the ousting of former CEO Gregg Steinhafel, is the only man of his original 10-member executive team who is still with the company today.
Even though there are many reasons why the Target empire is crumbling, a bath and fitting room policy that put women and children in danger certainly isn't helping.
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