The boycott and “buycott” against Target Corp. that were set in motion when the company decided to allow anyone identifying as transgender to use the restroom or fitting room of his or her choice appear to be having an impact.
To date, almost 1.3 million people have signed an American Family Association pledge to boycott the retail giant for its permissive bathroom policy, which critics say violates privacy rights and threatens the safety of women and children who want to use the restroom and changing facilities at Target.
Faith Driven Consumer, which says it represents 41 million Americans who spend roughly $2 trillion annually, joined the movement and announced a national “buycott” effort encouraging people to shop at Walmart and nine other alternative brand stores.
Walmart just issued its first-quarter report for 2016, and the numbers indicate company sales were much better than expected.
According to CNBC, the company posted first-quarter earnings per share of 98 cents and revenue of $115.9 billion. The company was expected to earn only 88 cents per share with a forecast revenue of $113 billion.
“U.S. same-store sales were up 1 percent in the quarter, topping estimates of only a 0.5 percent increase,” CNBC reported. Shares of Walmart stock are also up 12 percent in 2016.
Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO, said in a statement, “We’re off to a good start for the year. “
In contrast, Target reported lower-than-expected earnings Wednesday, and its stock has fallen sharply since the bathroom policy was announced April 19.
Company CEO Brian Cornell told reporters during a conference call that the sales impact of the boycott affected only a “handful of stores.” He blamed the lower-than-expected earnings on “an increasingly volatile consumer environment” and colder weather in the Northeast.