Target’s recent announcement to spend $20 million to install “family friendly” bathrooms in its stores appears to be too little too late.
In less than four months after the giant retailer announced its “transgender bathroom” policy, Target’s second-quarter earnings fell 9.7 percent. It also lowered its sales estimate for the rest of the year, citing “a difficult retail environment.”
Its drop in comparable sales is the first the company has had in two years.
Target’s initial statement declared: “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”
Except for when sales plummet because people nationwide stopped shopping there.
“Some of our guests clearly are uncomfortable with our policy,” Cathy Smith, Target’s chief financial officer said on a conference call with reporters. (You think?)
Smith cited a “difficult retail environment,” “slowdown in electronics sales,” disruption to its pharmacy chain, and problems with its grocery department, as the official reasons why its sales dropped.
Single-stall bathrooms will be installed in roughly 300 stores where there are none, by March, 2017– in direct response to criticism of its transgender policy.
Target is not changing its policy to allow people to use any “restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” But does not deny that the $20 million investment is a direct response to critics “to ensure it maintains a welcoming atmosphere for all of its customers.”
But will these bathroom stalls make a difference?