In April, Target announced it would be changing its bathroom policy to allow transgender customers to use whichever bathroom they choose based on their gender identity. As a result, many consumers who had previously been loyal Target shoppers boycotted the company, and as a result, the corporation has lost nearly $10 billion.
Target CEO Brian Cornell has denied that these losses are related to the transgender bathroom policy. But if that’s the case, why is Target building new bathroom stalls across the country?
Indeed, Target is adjusting their previously stated policy on transgender bathrooms. While Target already does have single-stall bathrooms at 1,400 out of their 1,800 stores across the United States, they have now announced they are spending $20 million to invest in filling the other 400 stores with single-use bathrooms. That begs the question – is Target trying to bring back the customers boycotting their store?
Target Spokesperson Katie Boylan says that the decision to add new single-use bathrooms is “because we’re listening. The impact to the business is not material at this time,” but “We get it. Some like it, some don’t.” Well, okay Katie, that makes sense. I guess.
But the Target organization is being dishonest. At a recent meeting of shareholders, Cornell “defended the company’s position and policy by comparing what they’re doing with their bathrooms to their 1960s era use of black models by complaining it wasn’t well received then.” Target would be well served not to match their new building of single-use bathrooms with a comparison to racism and bigotry. At the very least, Cornell should come out and say it clearly – if you don’t give your approval to men using women’s bathrooms for the simple claim of transgenderism, you might as well be a racist bigot. Instead, he refused to answer questions from the shareholders.
So, good for you Target – you’re building new single-use bathrooms. But at the same time, it might be best to lift your head from the sand, stop claiming that your new transgender policy has had “zero negative financial implications” on your company when it so clearly has, and apologize to your shareholders and customers for not defending them from being called racist bigots.
Kevin Dawson is the Operations Manager at American Principles Project.