Target Gets Desperate in Face of Slumping Sales

target boycottCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Although Target insists that a nationwide boycott of the stores over its liberal transgender bathroom policy is not to blame, the company has reported a worrying decrease in traffic in their stores.

The Christian Post is reporting on Target’s woes ever since it decided to launch an “inclusive” bathroom policy that allows people to use whatever restroom and fitting room appeals to their gender identity. The announcement sparked a nationwide boycott of the stores by more than one million people out of concerns for the safety of women and children. The company’s sales have been lagging ever since.

To combat this downward trend, the store launched a nationwide 10 percent discount off everything in their stores on Sunday, a move that many see as a frantic attempt to stop the bleeding.

“Desperate! Target is discounting everything to win shoppers back amid #BoycottTarget,” writes the American Family Association, the national family association that organized the boycott. “Don’t be fooled, their dangerous policy still allows men into the same facilities as little girls. Help keep the boycott going strong.”

The company still refuses to admit that the boycott is to blame for a drop in same-store transactions by 2.2 percent in the second quarter. According to Business Insider, this resulted in a 7.2 percent drop in sales.

On a recent call with analysts, Target CEO Brian Cornell admitted that “in the second quarter, our No. 1 challenge was traffic, which affected sales in all of our merchandise categories.”

This admission comes at the same time that the company announced plans to invest $20 million into installing unisex bathrooms in 300 stores that don’t already have one to allow customers more privacy.

However, the AFA said the move was not enough to protect women and girls from potential male predators who are permitted to use women’s facilities simply by saying that they identify as being a woman.

“Unisex bathrooms are fine, but our request has always been that Target maintain the gender-specific bathrooms as well — if the company is interested in guaranteeing the safety and privacy of women and girls who patronize the retailer’s stores,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon added.

AFA representatives have met with Target leadership to discuss the bathroom policies, but say the company has no plans to abandon the policy and insists that they’re keeping it in order to make their customers safe and happy.

However, judging by the size of the boycott, one of the largest in AFA history, it’s safe to say that any policy that leaves 1.4 million customers unhappy is nothing less than an epic fail.

For this reason, #BoycottTarget is continuing, with many former customers refusing to go back until Target admits they were wrong and reverses the dangerous policy.

As a commenter named John Bomarito wrote on the AFA Facebook page, “They do not get one penny of my business. I go out of my way to shop at either Walmart or Kmart now. Done with these social engineers disguised as businesses.”

Another commenter named Edward Crespo wrote, “Prices don’t sway me, even if they sold everything for two cents they’ll never get my business. Tell your friends to go to Walmart or other stores and they’ll match or beat Target prices.”

One former customer named Liz Lazarowicz summed up consumer feelings quite succinctly. “They could give it away for free, I still won’t shop there.”

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