Target Stock Continues to Plummet in Wake of Transgender Bathroom Policy Announcement

CEO blames the weather and "skittish customers," not the policy. But his competitors are faring much better.

By Austin Roscoe Published on May 24, 2016

Target’s stock has fallen nearly 20% — roughly $16 dollars per share — since announcing its transgender bathroom policy on April 19.

The drop would appear connected to a boycott organized by the American Family Association. Over 1.28 million thus far have signed the Boycott Target Pledge committing to take their business elsewhere.

However, Target’s CEO Brian Cornell told Fortune last Wednesday that he doesn’t believe the transgender bathroom policy is to blame. Instead, he claimed the weather and “skittish consumers” were responsible for the sharp decrease. “To date we have not seen a material or measurable impact on our business. Just a handful of stores across the country have seen some activity and have been impacted,” Cornell said.

The market may be partly to blame, but Target’s main competitors, Walmart and Costco, have been faring much better in comparison, as graphically demonstrated below. Since April 18, the day before Target’s announcement, Costco stock has only fallen 7%, while Walmart has actually seen a slight gain. The drop has been especially dramatic in the past week. Target has plummeted 7.5%, while Walmart has increased by 10%. Costco only lost 1%.

 

Target Stock - 900

In addition to the company’s stock, Business Insider reports that the brand’s consumer perception has also dropped over the last few weeks. According to data obtained by YouGov BrandIndex, only 36% of consumers would consider shopping at the store, down from 42% before the boycott began.

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  • Charles Burge

    I can’t deny that I’m somewhat heartened to see this, though I need to add that I do feel bad for the people who work at Target. They didn’t ask for this, and a lot of them probably disagree with the policy. That being said, now it’s up to the company leadership leadership if they will decide to stand on principle and go down with a sinking ship, or will they reverse course?

    • Lorie Rinke

      I have family who works for Target, they are applying pressure from within, but not to much avail.

  • Paul

    It’s ironic, they veil their anti-gun policies as being family friendly, safe and inviting. Soon after they invite men into the womens bathroom. People who take second amendment rights seriously have been boycotting Target since their anti 2A gun policy, but it took allowing dudes into the ladies room to get far greater attention. Maybe if this American Family Association cared about the Constitution things wouldn’t have gotten this far in the cesspool to begin with. But if Target reverses course on their bathroom policy the AFA will act like all is well while Target continues to discriminate against millions of law abiding Americans, denying them the ability to protect themselves.

    • Sam Golestani

      The AFA isn’t about the constitution as it is more about family values ,they are a religious organization ..

  • blackfeather

    watch the competition’s profits soar….this was a stooopid business decision for target.

  • Lorie Rinke

    The power of capitalism is a wondrous thing!

  • So we dump Target because they support our Transgender brothers and sisters and support WalMart even though they are the picture of corporate welfare? They get tax breaks for hiring people who are on government assistance and then they are the number one benefactors of food stamps. Wal Mart also has a friendly Transgender policy as well but they are not going to say a word. What a mess.

    • Paul

      I have no transgender brothers or sisters, either literally or figuratively.

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