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Did Target's Transgender Bathroom Policy Plunge Its Stock?

Target logo
Target logo

Target's transgender bathroom policy appears to be affecting the company's bottom line.

The discount retailer took a huge hit after it announced a month ago that biological men who identify as women would be allowed to use the women's bathroom.

BIZPAC Review reports Target's stock plummeted 12 percent.

The losses come as more than a million customers have signed a "Boycott Target" petition by the American Family Association in oppostion to the policy.

The Business Insider also revealed that while 42 percent of consumers considered shopping at Target before the boycott, that number has now fallen to 36 percent. They based their report on data supplied by YouGov BrandIndex measuring consumer perceptions of major brands.

"Consumer perception of the brand has also dropped sharply. It's at its lowest point in two years," the report noted.

But Target CEO Bill Cornell says that the drop in stock has nothing to do with the transgender bathroom controversy.

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, Cornell blamed plummeting stock on bad weather.

"It's been a very wet and cold start to the year and it's reflected in our sales," Cornell said. "We haven't seen anything from a structural standpoint that gives us pause."

Meanwhile, Rev. Franklin Graham disagreed with Cornell's theory.

"Target stock is tumbling after they announced a pro-transgender restroom policy allowing men to use women's bathrooms and changing rooms," Graham said in a post on Facebook. "Stock value has fallen 20 percent and shareholder value has lost $10 billion since they began promoting this dangerous policy."

"Target CEO Brian Cornell says it's due in part of 'unfavorable weather trends in the Northwest.' Really? He must be in denial," he continued.

Target's shares fell 73 cents Monday, to close at $67.93 on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares are off more than 26 percent from a high of $85.81 last June.

In a conference call with reporters, Target officials noted that second-quarter sales were slower because of lower consumer demand and protests over the transgender bathroom policy, The Street reports

"We have seen a noticeable slowdown post-Easter," Target CFO Cathy Smith said on the conference call.

Meanwhile, Graham also urged his followers to sign the boycott petition.

"Wake up corporate America and stockholders, American families clearly do not want this. Over 1.2 million people have signed the online petition to boycott Target stores," he said.

"This is sending a strong message, and I hope that millions more will sign it," he added.


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