Backlash: Target to Spend $20 Million on Single-Sex Bathrooms
Four months after enacting a gender-neutral bathroom policy in order to be “inclusive,” Target is spending $20 million to make up for ticking off some of its customers.
According to Fortune, the retail giant is adding single-stall restrooms to all of its 1,800 locations. “It’s clear that some of our guests like and some dislike our inclusive bathroom policy,” Target chief financial officer Cathy Smith told reporters. Single-sex bathrooms were already in most locations.
The $75-billion company earned the ire of socially conservative customers with a blog post in April that declared itself in opposition to “discrimination,” including sex-segregated bathrooms and fitting rooms.
“In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways,” said the company. “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.”
The new bathroom policy announcement came as Target posted “its first drop in shopper traffic since early 2014,” Fortune reported. The company reported earlier today that it “delivered second quarter profitability above our expectations,” in the words of CEO Brian Cornell, but that wasn’t enough to prevent a five percent drop in its stock.
A number of conservative groups have claimed Target’s stock market and growth difficulties, which have been highlighted throughout the summer, are the results of a boycott against its gender policy. The company has denied a causal relationship, citing other causes.
It appears that people will still be able to use men or women’s fitting rooms at will.