Target’s stock has dropped and more than 1 million consumers have pledged to boycott the retail giant after it announced an “inclusive” policy allowing individuals to use the restroom or fitting room of their choice, based on their gender identity.
“In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways,” Target announced April 19. “Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
Target common stock dropped from opening price of $83.50 per share April 19 to a closing price of $79.99 per share May 3—a 4.2 percent decline over the past two weeks. Its closing price of $83.98 on April 19 was the highest since July 2015.
“Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims,” the American Family Association, a nonprofit that supports Christians values, wrote April 20. “And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?”
The group continued in an updated website message:
Clearly, Target’s dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters. Over 1 million people agree with us and pledged to boycott Target stores until protecting women and children is a priority.
— American Family Assc (@AmericanFamAssc) April 21, 2016
“Target stocks are dropping. They started dropping the day we announced this boycott,” Sandy Rios, the group’s director of government affairs, told Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon.
The American Family Association suggests that Target keep restrooms for males and females separate, but also have a single occupancy, unisex restroom available.
YouGov’s BrandIndex tracked data that shows Target’s consumer perception went down after the transgender bathroom announcement.
“I don’t think it’s a statement that people aren’t in favor of equal rights for transgender people,” YouGov CEO Ted Marzilli told USA Today. “It shows people just kind of demonstrating that they’re uncomfortable, or uncertain about how comfortable they are, with mixed public restrooms.”
Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder declined to comment to the Associated Press on whether the protests had affected sales at its stores.