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Target’s Solution Misses the Mark

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 @ 11:32 AM
Target’s Solution Misses the Mark Anne Reed AFA Journal MORE

Target has devised a plan to ensure every one of their 1,793 upscale discount stores has a “family restroom.” 

They are not changing their inclusion policy, however. Men will still be allowed to use the restroom of their choosing. Only now, they will have one more choice. 

Now there will be a unisex one-toilet restroom in each Target store while the multi-stall unisex restrooms are a free-for-all. 

Although Target may refer to all of its customers as “guests,” their treatment of you husbands and fathers who are uncomfortable sending your wives and children into restrooms and fitting rooms where men are welcome reflects otherwise. And for you women who exercise common sense measures to protect yourselves and your children from dangerous situations, Target doesn’t appear to respect or care about you at all. 

In essence, their answer to you – their “problematic guests” – is simply, get over it – and get in line! There’s now a special restroom for you folks around the corner. So, congratulations! 

Over 1.2 million of you have signed the Target Boycott pledge – more than the approximate 700,000 transgender persons living in the U.S. The first one million signatures were personally delivered to Target’s senior management last Wednesday, May 11, the same day Target CEO Brian Cornell appeared on CNBC

Cornell stated, “Sitting here today, we know we made the right decision.” 

He likened it to their early use of African American models in their advertisements. 

“It [the use of African American models] wasn’t well received,” he said. “We had a lot of tough feedback.” 

Please explain how the two decisions are remotely similar. Would those models with dark pigment jump off the advertisement pages and put innocent people in danger somehow? Of course not. Such a comparison is illogical and offensive. 

Welcoming men to use the restroom of their choice presents a real and present danger. We are talking about behavioral concerns. Simply adding a family restroom isn’t going to solve this problem, Mr. Cornell. And the people know it. 

Consumer dissatisfaction is evidenced by YouGovBrandIndex, which tracks the public perception of thousands of brands across the world every day. Their research shows that after Target’s April 19 announcement, their favorability among consumers dropped significantly. In the first two weeks alone, those who would consider buying items at Target as part of their next department store shopping experience dropped from 42% to 38%. As of late April, Target’s stock had dropped by 5%, costing shareholders roughly $2.5 billion in company value. Then, on May 12, Western Journalism reported an approximate 10% drop in stock or $4.5 billion in market value. 

This issue is important, and we can’t let it die. If you haven’t signed the pledge yet, you can do so here. And you can call or visit your local Target store to express your concerns. 

In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “The time is always right to do what is right.”

 

 

 

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