The 2016 election has resulted in the politicizing of everything from coffee to bathrooms. Yep. Bathrooms. A year later, Target is feeling the effects of their choice to politicize potty practices in their stores nationwide.
In April 2016 Target announced restroom and changing room policies favoring transgender customers. The policy allowed a person to choose a restroom or changing room based on the gender he or she identifed as rather than biological identity.
“Everyone deserves to feel like they belong, and you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”
Now, Target CEO Brian Cornell states publication was not authorized by him and he only discovered the release afterwards.
The American Family Association (AFA) initiated the first major Target boycott in April of 2016. AFA felt the policy endangered women and children by providing predators pretending to be transgender easy access to vulnerable populations.
In response to the original backlash, Target maintained its stance.
Target responded to subsequent protests and store demonstrations, saying it remains committed to its bathroom policy.
“We certainly respect that there are a wide variety of perspectives and opinions,” Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder told Business Insider. “As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work — and our guests an inclusive place to shop — we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target.”
The AFA movement now boasts over 1.4 million people vowing to boycott due to the Target transgender bathroom policy.
Snopes “fact checking” states Target was not affected by the boycott, however multiple non-partisan news outlets contradict Snopes.
The boycott reportedly cost the company millions in lost sales, decreased foot traffic and additional expenses.
Target leadership attributed lost revenue to competitors such as Amazon, but it is difficult to explain the timing. The lost sales and foot traffic in stable, long standing stores, started immediately after the publication of the policy.
Regardless of Target’s assertions the loss in sales was due to competitors, Target then spent millions installing single occupancy restrooms.
How do single occupancy restrooms help Target compete with Amazon?
Despite the fancy new potties, conservatives were not impressed and remained focused on the policy itself.
Sales fell nearly 6% in the three quarters after the boycott compared with the same period last year, and same-store sales have dropped every quarter since publication of the potty policy.
By the end of February Target stock dropped 13% and foot traffic was remained significantly lower.
What does it all really mean?
The Transgender Bathroom Debacle of 2016 is another glaring example of “non-news.” Target’s need for free publicity while joining the potty policy war was part of this ridiculousness.
Face it, no one making minimum wage was ever going to enforce these self gratifying potty policies. Additionally, transgender people who are dressing as the opposite sex should be difficult to recognize as “transgender.” In reality, would the next step be potty police frisking manly looking women for “the wrong” genitals and vice versa?
The point, the Target transgender potty policy was a non-issue from the start.
Target wanted free publicity and rainbow parades. Instead they offended their customer base, lost money and gained more…potties.
The year long boycott was effective, and Target’s continued stance on the potty war is not helping their sales.
Target has not retracted it’s potty policy and appears to hope the year long boycott will “blow over.” The drop in sales and stock have only served to energize conservatives.
It does not appear the boycott will blow over anytime soon.
Not only should the government stay out of our potties, maybe Target should too.