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Soft Target

Associated Press/Photo by Robert F. Bukaty

Soft Target
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About 1.4 million people signed a pledge to boycott Target stores over the company’s transgender bathroom and fitting room policy. Target’s same-store sales during the same quarter were down for the first time in two years. Is there a connection?

Target officials say no, and they have been giving other reasons ever since they announced on Aug. 17 that foot traffic had fallen 2.2 percent and comparable store sales were down 1.1 percent in the May to July period. Target says sluggish grocery sales, a clumsy transition of Target’s pharmacies to CVS, and falling sales of Apple products were to blame. Retail analysts also point to competition from Amazon.com.

But Walmart also competes against Amazon, and it had its strongest quarter in four years: Foot traffic was up 1.2 percent and comparable store sales were up 1.6 percent.

It is impossible to know whether Walmart gained substantial foot traffic from boycotters avoiding Target, but Target did announce it would spend $20 million to add private family bathrooms to its stores that do not have one for the sake of customers who won’t use transgender bathrooms. Target gave no indication it would consider changing its overall policy on transgender bathrooms and fitting rooms.


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I have to drive a good hour to get to a Target, Sam's Club, Costco or any major department store.  I have basic principles that lead me to shop locally first.  I often thrift shop before considering retail shopping.  I have not even thought of going to Target in a very, very long time.  Being aware of their policies and their agenda, I cannot support this corporation.  I appreciate the jobs they provide in the towns where they have stores but they will have to get along without shoppers like me! 


Now here's a novel thought...simply admit you made a stupid mistake, hang a "Male" sign and a "Female" sign on the repsective doors...and save yourselves $20 million.

Kathleen F

Our family has done the same -- no visits to Target since their policy announcement, even though we didn't sign the pledge. Had really reduced our purchases there a year prior when we learned identity of recipients of significant Target charitable donations were activist organizations behind changing the definition of marriage in the USA.

Peter Allen

We used to shop at Target,  have not signed a pledge, but have not set foot in a Target since either.  We are a portion of the percentage that Walmart gained.  There is an undeniable connection...

Jeff T

We used to spend around $300-500 a month at target- no more. We have happily found other alternatives!


I'm done with Target forever.