The outlook is not promising for Target.
First, the retailer recently announced dismal second-quarter earnings. Then, the company said it was spending $20 million to install single-stall, lockable bathrooms in all of its stores, in a weak effort to respond to the backlash regarding its dangerous restroom and fitting room policy that puts women and girls in danger.
Now, for the first time in its history, Target offered a 10 percent discount on every product in its stores and online this past Sunday, reported the American Family Association (AFA) in a recent Action Alert to its more than one million friends and supporters. AFA's #BoycottTarget campaign, which began in April, has garnered more than 1.4 million signatures.
"Struggling to make up for deep losses, Target has demonstrated just how desperate things are becoming for the company that lets men use the women's restrooms and dressing rooms," said AFA President Tim Wildmon. "This unusual sales tactic came just one week after Target reported a massive 7.2 percent drop in sales in the second quarter, which included the months of AFA's highly successful #BoycottTarget campaign."
Target CEO Brian Cornell has admitted that store traffic is down and that sales are hurting. "In the second quarter, our No. 1 challenge was traffic, which affected sales in all of our merchandise categories," Cornell said on a call earlier this month with analysts, reported Business Insider and other financial media outlets.
"Rather than tossing a 10 percent discount to shoppers," Wildmon added, "Target should consider a policy that will keep women and girls 100 percent safe in its stores. As AFA has stated many times, adding more bathrooms doesn't fix the issue. Not allowing men in women's facilities is the only solution. We still believe Target doesn't value the safety of families, and because Target refuses to address our concerns, the boycott will remain."
Cornell did not mention the AFA boycott, even though more than 1.4 million concerned Americans have signed the boycott pledge—a strong message to Mr. Cornell that they will not shop at Target.
While Target executives discounted the boycott early on, it is clear the retreat from the retail chain is having impact. For example, a recent example is a Business Insider headline that read: "The Target boycott is costing more than anyone expected."
Last week, AFA released an open letter to Cornell; read the full text of the letter here.
AFA continues to ask shoppers to take action in several ways, especially during the busy back-to-school season:
- MOST EFFECTIVE: Let Target know you are not fooled by its misleading language. Voice your concerns on Target's Facebook page.
- NEW: Read the latest news on the Target boycott from FOX News' Todd Starnes here.
- Call Target to let its executives know you've signed the #BoycottTarget pledge—Guest Relations, (800) 440-0680, option 1, then 1 again.
- Sign the #BoycottTarget pledge. Encourage family and friends to sign the pledge, too. The 1.5 million signature mark is right around the corner!
- Share the boycott information on social media and be sure to use #BoycottTarget.
- Visit afa.net/target for more tools and information on the #BoycottTarget initiative.
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