The people are clearly not happy with Target’s newest bathroom policies. Money talks. Will the department store answer their demands?
Target’s stock price and its favorability among shoppers are crashing as the public rebukes the retail giant for ignoring their vigorous protest against mixed-sex changing rooms and bathrooms.
The company’s stock was two cents shy of $84 on August 19, when it revealed it would not allow shoppers to use single-sex bathrooms or changing rooms. Instead, all rooms were opened up to anyone claiming to be of either sex. As of 4.00 p.m. Friday, the stock had dropped almost $4.50, down to $79.50.
That’s a huge loss of 5 percent in stock value, costing shareholders roughly $2.5 billion in company value.
In between those two dates, more than one million people had signed a boycott petitionsponsored by the American Family Association. Public opinion also shifted strongly in favor of single-sex bathrooms.
The damage to Target’s favorability is also being tracked by YouGov’s BrandIndex service.
By April 27, “The percentage of consumers who would consider buying items at Target the next time they want to go shopping at a department store dropped from 42% to 38% over the past two weeks,” YouGov reported April 29. That’s a 10 percent drop, likely fueled by social-media conversations via Facebook and various news sites.
Worse, YouGov showed that Target was hit by a 40 percent drop — from roughly 19 percent down to 11 percent — when consumers were indirectly asked if they planned to buy at Target. “When you are in the market next to purchase items in this particular category, from which of the following brands would you consider purchasing?” YouGov asked.
YouGov also reported customers were hearing bad news about the company. When asked, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” the positive “Buzz” score of 19 fell down to 11.
The score fell by 10 points among men but 12 points among women, YouGov reported.