Thursday, May 19, 2016

Target Stores Feeling Pain, but in Denial

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Amid their self-inflicted financial pain, Target is making some changes at the top.

They have hired ex-Nordstrom executive Mark Tritton to help fix their lingering problem.

Since many Christians and conservatives have decided to skip shopping at Target because of their anti-female bathroom and changing room policies, stockholders are feeling the pain, while Target executives seem to be in denial.

Sales and stock market value are down, as Target boasts about its so-called Corporate Equality Index rating.

Yesterday afternoon, Donald Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees should he be elected president.

This is a list of those whom he says he would choose from.

I'll be talking about this on the radio this morning. You may join me live at 9 AM PDT from anywhere in the world---on the air, on the Internet or on your phone. Here's how.

Tritton, the former president of Nordstrom Product Group, is joining Target as the chain's new chief merchandising officer. He will lead the visual merchandising campaigns.

However, financial reports suggest this may, as they say, be merely "rearranging the chairs on the Titanic."

No, it's not a Titanic moment for Target, but neither is it party time for investors.

Well over a million people have pledged to not shop Target until they change their bathroom changing room policies.

I am personally one of the million plus.

The chain is denying the "Christian boycott," as some have called it, is having no effect. But it's the store chain's denial of privacy---and safety to women and girls that people are reacting toward.

With a stock market value of $50.39 billion in February, Target's market cap has been dropping steadily since it has announced its bathroom policy on April 19. By the second week of May, the chain's value had flattened to about $43.9 billion, down $6 billion from April 19.

Homosexual activists say that's meaningless because all big retailers are down during the same period.

That's true. And it's due in part to Obama's terrible economic policies.

However, Target's 12% loss is greater than most all other comparable big retailers.

Costco declined only 6% and Walmart only 6.9% during the same period.

A part of Target's decline can only be attributed to management decisions that anger so many "guests," as they call their customers.

After a month of silence, Target's CEO Brian Cornell finally came out to address the issue.

Instead of addressing the 99%+ customers who are not "transgender," he doubled down on the store's bathroom policies, winning praise from the LGBT activists.

The same day Cornell addressed the issue, Target's stock fell another 5.43% during that day while JC Penny and Walmart were down 2.4% and 2.75% respectively on the same day.

Should Target continue to push their extreme social agenda, in effect, using the money of their stockholders---the investors to advance a social agenda?

I'm not the only one asking.

While their value falls, Target is boasting about its Corporate Equality Index rating of 100. The highest possible rating.

One News Now, a part of the American Family Association which is sponsoring the boycott against Target, says, "The corporation has never hidden its support for left-wing causes."

Peter LaBarbera, head of "Americans for Truth about Homosexuality," says CEI ratings are only related to the amount of support by companies to the homosexual agenda---not really about "equality" in the broader sense.

He says, "If a company like Target gives money to the American Family Association, they would lose points on the Corporate Equality Index. If they give money to a pro-homosexual group like Human Rights Campaign, they would get points."

The CEI is only a rating of how much money a company gives to LGBT causes, not a measurement of contributing to true cultural equality.

In an apparent attempt to manage the growing public outrage, Target announced it was restating its store policy---but nothing has changed.

You will recall Target made headlines last summer---I wrote about it in this column---when they announced their stores would be dropping "gender-based signage" including dropping "Boys" and "Girls" from its toy aisles.

LaBarbera notes that Target supports the Equality Act, a far Left bill supported by the HRC and other homosexual rights organizations.

Fortunately, conservative Republicans have been able to stall the bill in Congress---so far.

LaBarbera says, and I agree, "The legislation should be nick-named the "Criminalizing Christianity Act."

He says, "It would be a massive sledgehammer for the federal government and homosexual lawyers to come against small businesses, or anybody who comes out against homosexual so-called marriage, or transgender bathrooms, or other aspects of the gay transgender agenda."

But Target's moral crusade is not only about homosexuals.

In 2004, Target announced that they would be enforcing an existing policy in which they would no longer allow Salvation Army bell ringers set up their familiar red kettles near Target stores.

That policy decision cost the Salvation Army the $9 million they normally received by being at the Target stores each Christmas season. It cost Target a great deal of good will.

By 2006, Target was hearing the push-back from their customers who were asking what in the world they were thinking.

In an attempt to appease the public, Target donated $1 million to the Salvation Army, cutting the ministry's loss to only $8 million.

They then allowed The Salvation Army to place a Christmas ornament in the Target stores. A move that never approached replacing the donations that ordinary people love to make to the Salvation Army red kettles in front of Target during the Christmas season.

Initially, a Rasmussen poll found that 51% of Americans opposed Obama's transgender bathroom policies---49% approving.

Another poll at the end of April showed support has dropped by 20 points to 29%.

Target had also said in their statements explaining why they were removing the Salvation Army, they wanted to "spare shoppers the potential discomfort of being asked for donations."

How uncomfortable is it to walk past a Salvation Army bell-ringer who smiles and says, "Merry Christmas"---whether you drop something in the kettle or not?

If Target really cared about shopper's discomfort, they would not be setting the stage for perverts who "identify" as a woman to be trolling in and out of women's bathrooms and changing rooms, putting innocent women and girls at risk.

I'm not buying it. And apparently I'm not the only one.

This week, a "Flush Target" has been launched, blasting Target's policy with very pointed ads.

The ad says:
“Any man at anytime could enter a women’s bathroom simply by claiming to be a woman that day,” a woman is heard saying in the ad entitled, “Stop TARGETing Women and Children.”

“No one is exempt,” the ad continues. “Even registered sex offenders could follow women or young girls into the bathroom. And no one can stop them.”

In addition to the ads, the organization plans to send a "Flush Truck" to all 75 Target stores in Minnesota. The side of the truck is plastered with a picture that shows a young girl standing in front of a bathroom stall, while a grown man stands in front of her.

Target may not be able to dispense with the outrage over this "policy" as neatly as they did with the Salvation Army issue.

Be Informed. Be Bold. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.