Retailer's 'brilliant marketing strategy' backfiring

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Chris Woodward, Jody Brown (

Target signA financial expert argues that regardless what Target says, the four-month-long boycott of the retailer by a pro-family group is at least part of the reason the company's revenue has dropped more than a billion dollars in the last quarter.

Target reported today it has cut its profit and comparable-store sales outlook amid stiffer competition and its own stumbles in areas like grocery sales. The discounter's second-quarter net income fell nearly 10 percent, though that was better than what most had expected.

According to The Associated Press, sales at stores open at least a year fell 1.1 percent, reversing seven straight quarters of gains. Shares fell nearly 4 percent in before the opening bell Wednesday.

Dan Celia with Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries reacts to the report:

Dan Celia"Target reported that its earnings are up, but more importantly than earnings are same-store sales [revenue], which are down 1.1 percent or $1.3 billon," he points out. "And notably, same-store sales are down for the first time in more than two years. [They] also cut their 2016 outlook. After this report, we're seeing a pre-market drop of 2.6 percent."

Celia continues:

"Back in the middle of April, we saw Target share price at $84 a share, only to drop to $66 a share by the middle of May – all of this in the middle of a boycott of Target by shoppers with a petition with [almost] 1.4 million signatures from shoppers committing not to shop at Target stores. This is because Target made a conscious marketing decision to appeal to 0.003 percent of the population at the risk of alienating 99.9 percent of the population.

"To say that this brilliant marketing strategy that led to the boycott had little impact on their numbers is naïve at best.

"American Family Association, after initiating the boycott, met with Target to simply ask that the corporation offer gender-specific restrooms and fitting rooms, as well as offer restrooms that can be used by those who identify as transgender.

"Target has refused to adopt such a policy, even in the hopes to regain 1.4 million shoppers. Another brilliant marketing strategy."

AFA's boycott urges people not to shop at Target because of the retailer's policy allowing transgender employees and customers to use the bathroom or changing room of the gender with which they say they identify. According to the family advocacy group, the policy puts women and children at risk of sexual predators who may take advantage of the policy.


"This earnings report from Target, which shows that our boycott is having an effect, is going to just encourage us to ramp up our efforts to add more people to the Boycott Target petition," says Walker Wildmon of AFA.

AFA president Tim Wildmon says Target really can't afford to let this trend continue.

"We still believe Target doesn't value the safety of families because they’ve refused to reverse this dangerous policy," he says. "Because Target refuses to address our concerns, the boycott will remain. [We] will continue to direct our supporters away from Target and, as a result, they will shop at other retailers.

"After seeing Target's latest earnings report, the retailer can’t afford to have millions of families shopping with competitors. The privacy and protection of women and children is important, and that is why we will continue to stand against Target for its reckless policy."

Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates


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