On April 19, 2016, Cornell released a public statement that laid out Target’s stance on Transgender restrooms. He pointed out that Target stores would “welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” The announcement immediately caused outrage, and millions of shoppers vowed to boycott until the decision was reversed. A week after the statement was released YouGov BrandIndex eluded to the aftermath that the stance would cause. At that time they reported the percentage of consumers who would consider buying items at Target the next time they want to go shopping dropped from 42% to 38%, marking the company's lowest consumer perception in eight months. (RELATED: Get all the news Google is trying to hide from you at Censored.news.)
There has been plenty of speculation as to why Target decided to take such an abrasive stance on this controversial topic. Some argue they ignored public opposition to mixed-sex bathrooms because Cornell came to the conclusion that left-wing ideas about sex and children would help boost sales to wealthier buyers and the multicultural millennial population. Target’s stock price and earnings never recovered, causing not only financial issues but also resulting in the company abruptly stopping two high-profile projects that were expected to help them gain some competitive edge and lead them into their future in retailing.
Despite evidence pointing to the obvious cause, Cornell insists that the #BoycottTarget movement mounted after the company’s transgender bathroom decision had nothing to do with the fall in stock prices. Cornell would only say that “Our fourth-quarter results reflect the impact of rapidly changing consumer behavior, which drove very strong digital growth but unexpected softness in our stores.” He also admitted Target would likely continue to experience losses through the year. Some analysts may point to the slowing retail climate in general for the decline in stock value, but it should be noted that WalMart is up 3 percent since April, and Kohl’s is down less than one percent making that argument weak.
Consumers decided to vote with their dollars, and now it looks like they may be winning.