Target elevated its social activism a week ago, boasting of a new policy allowing transgender “team members and guests” to use whatever restroom they like, and largely has remained mum on the issue since.
But its board members and stockholders might have something to say soon, as the company’s value has plunged billions of dollars since the announcement.
A boycott organized by the American Family Association over the company’s aggressive move surged past 1 million participants Thursday night.
On Friday, the count still was exploding, rising from 1,020,650 to 1,023,850 in minutes.
The signers of the petition agreed that Target’s store policy “endangers women and children by allowing men to frequent women’s facilities.”
But more importantly, they also affirmed, “Until Target makes the safety of women and children a priority, I will shop elsewhere.”
Mark West at Patriot Post calculated the impact of the boycott. He cited statistics from Perfect Price, a database of credit card transactions, showing the average “dollars spent per trip by Target customers is $62.”
“So I’ll use a very conservative calculation to extrapolate the impact of the #BoycottTarget petition so far. Assuming that the average customer makes two trips per month (a likely conservative number), and the signatures grow to one million (this was written just before that benchmark was passed), we arrive at $1.5 billion … in lost revenue annually to Target.”
But he pointed that that there are many who “likely will never sign a petition.”
“They’ll simply leave Target in disgust as they see a company that has abandoned common sense values,” he said.
He also noted that consumers offended by the social engineering agenda of Target can pressure their 401K and other investment vehicles to sell out of Target.
“Dumping your investment in this company will also send a strong signal to both Target and the rest of the mega-corporate world that they should keep their nose out of the social battles and simply focus on selling their products, period,” he wrote.
Target “is not responding to customers’ opposition,” reported Breitbart.
But the report noted the company’s stock dropped from $83.98 per share on April 19 to about $81.33 on April 28.
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On Friday, it had dropped down to the next low-water mark, of $79.77, down almost 2 percent just for the day.
Even at the halfway point, Breitbart reported, the company’s stock market value was down by $1.5 billion, to $48.8 billion.
The report noted the company’s Twitter account “has been very inactive.”
A Target spokeswoman, Molly Snyder, did double down on the company’s policy days ago, stating: “We certainly respect that there are a wide variety of perspectives and opinions. As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work – and our guests an inclusive place to shop – we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target.”
An NBC News headline read, “‘Bathroom’ protests will likely leave Target unscathed, experts say.”
But support for that notion came from Bob Witeck of Witeck Communications, a marketing communications firm that “focuses on the LGBT market.”
“If you look historically at corporations attacked or boycotted, there’s no empirical or market evidence that they ever suffered any specific losses,” he said. “None of these boycotts have legs, they don’t last for a long time.”
However, the report also noted an industry metric called “Buzz Index,” from YouGov BrandIndex, which measures both positive and negative consumer perception.
“YouGov found that Target’s reputation fell by nine points, with a slightly more negative perception among women,” the report said. “YouGov also found that the percentage of consumers who said they would consider shopping at Target the next time they visited a store in its category fell by four percentage points, from 42 percent to 38 percent.”
“It’s meaningful, meaning it’s statistically significant,” YouGov BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli said in the report.
He said it’s part of a larger issue.
“This is more than just about Target. This is about a political debate that’s been brewing over the last couple of months. The reality is I think Americans are uncertain about this – or there are many that are certain, but on both sides of the issue,” he said.
On Friday, AFA said its campaign contends the Target policy “opens the door for predators and voyeurs who would take advantage.”
AFA President Tim Wildmon said the campaign has gathered support more quickly than any of the other initiatives his organization has launched over the years.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” he said. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans. Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” he continued. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
Award-winning journalist and WND Managing Editor David Kupelian noted that only a few years ago, virtually everybody in the world would have agreed it’s “stark, raving mad” to allow grown men to use a women’s restroom or locker room.
“Today, it is still stark, raving mad,” he said. “But the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender movement, fueled by its success in imposing same-sex marriage on America, is now trying to force middle America to pretend that a serious mental illness, one that frequently involves amputating healthy body parts in a desperate but impossible quest to morph into the opposite sex, is perfectly normal and we must all join in the pretense or be demonized or legally prosecuted.
“So now they’re getting some real push-back. That is a very good thing.”
In his most recent book, “The Snapping of the American Mind,” Kupelian wrote about gender identity disorder – the strong feelings of belonging to the opposite sex that drive some people to try and physically change their genders. This erstwhile disorder was recently renamed “gender dysphoria” in an effort to de-pathologize it, according to Kupelian. So today being transgender is considered completely normal while those who don’t accept the normality of transgenderism are often labeled “transphobic,” which suggests someone has a disorder, or phobia.
But Kupelian believes his fellow countrymen see through the pro-transgender propaganda.
“Most Americans recognize the ‘transgender movement’ for what it is – a deeply misguided campaign to normalize mental illness and to force all Americans to abandon their common sense and core values and affirm and celebrate what is really pathological delusion,” he said.
“Remember: It is literally impossible to change your gender. Every one of the trillions of cells in your body is permanently branded male or female from birth and cannot be changed.”
WND columnist Michael Brown wrote on the Target issue: “People have said, ‘Enough is enough!’ – and for good reason. Just think: Target has declared war on gender. Last year, Target announced that it was doing away with boys’ toys and girls’ toys. Instead, all toy aisles are now gender neutral, since Target didn’t want to promote gender-stereotyping – as if it’s bad to say that most boys prefer GI Joe toys to Little Princess toys or most girls prefer doll houses to Nerf guns or girls like pink and boys like blue.”
He continued: “Now Target has gone even further, imposing the struggles of less than 1 percent of the population on the rights of the other 99 percent. … Target has crossed a line, and that’s why millions of Americans will soon be saying to Target, ‘We used to love shopping in your stores, but your radical activism and your scorning of our concerns has driven us away.'”