The next time you’re in Target and one of the employees asks you if they can help you find anything, maybe you should say where their stock price went.
As you no doubt know, the retail giant has been the target (ho, ho) of a massive boycott after its support for “transgender rights” led the company to allow customers to use whatever dressing rooms and bathrooms they so desired.
According to Business Insider, that decision has led to Target shares dropping 9 percent this month. That’s a grand total of $4 billion in stock losses. Nice work!
While Target’s shares are up 3 percent this year as a whole, it’s also worth pointing out that the retailer had a cataclysmically bad fiscal year in 2015, with the collapse of its nascent Canadian operations and softer than expected sales. In other words, the transgender bathroom issue has clearly arrested the stock’s rebound.
There are also now over 1.2 million people who have pledged to boycott Target, and a YouGov survey found that the number of people who planned to shop at the store in the next week was down to 36 percent from 42 percent in the past couple of weeks.
In spite of that, CEO Brian Cornell apparently isn’t fazed — publicly, anyway.
“We took a stance and we are going to continue to embrace our belief of diversity and inclusion,” Cornell said earlier this week. However, he seems to mistake “diversity and inclusion” with “advancing the politically correct agenda.”
Full disclosure: Once upon a time, back in my student days, I used to work at Target. In all the years I worked there, obviously before this policy was enacted, I never saw a single store employee (or “team member,” in Target corporate jargon) ever stopping women at the door to the bathroom, checking their birth certificates or the size of their Adam’s apple.
I did, however, witness more than one suspected pervert thwarted by our store security. In fact, from my experience, I would argue that such incidents are much more common than retailers would like to let on, for obvious reasons.
The reason for bathroom laws isn’t to stop transgender people from using their chosen bathroom, it’s to stop perverts. What Target did has no effect on the transgender community. It does, however, have an effect on their ability to stop sickos — and on whether people feel safe shopping there or not.
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