The country's second-largest retailer, Target, posted decent third quarter numbers but a critic of the chain says people are abandoning the brick-and-mortar stores.
According to Target, so-called Q3 showed a 1.4 percent-increase in foot traffic over the last period last year and comparable sales increased 0.9 percent.
A mostly positive story by Bloomberg reported on the upbeat numbers but also noted that investors were unhappy that net income fell 21 percent and also unhappy with an earnings forecast for the fourth-quarter, which includes the busy Christmas shopping season.
Target has become a frequent OneNewsNow story after the American Family Association boycotted the retailer when its corporate leaders refused to alter its transgender-friendly store policy, which AFA predicted – correctly – would allow straight men to prey on women and girls (see sidebar).
Target, known for its public support for homosexual rights, refused to back down, and since then its stock has plummeted and an experimental plan for futuristic stores was scrapped.
AFA: Policy is a 'major problem' for Target
Target has a policy allowing transgender customers and employees to use the bathroom or changing room for the gender in which they say they identify. While Target says it's about inclusivity, the American Family Association is boycotting Target, saying sexual predators can and will take advantage of the policy, thereby putting women and children at risk.
"The reality remains that it is a major problem," says an AFA Action Alert. "We have the proof."
Just last month, AFA says a man was charged with videotaping a woman inside a Target store changing room in Wisconsin.
"Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case," AFA continues. "AFA has documented at least ten other recent cases in which women have been exploited by sexual predators inside Target stores."
Meanwhile, Target's financial problems have been attributed to the fact that the retailer is in fierce competition with Amazon, an entity that is being blamed for a lot of retailers' problems. Still, AFA maintains its actions have played a role in Target's foot traffic, sales, and stock value being down since the boycott began in April 2016.
"[I'm confident] the boycott is having an effect ... and I think it's maintaining its effect," AFA's Walker Wildmon tells OneNewsNow. "People are disgusted with Target and they're not shopping there."
More recently, it announced 12 store closings.
2nd Vote spokesman Robert Kuykendall says his organization, which encourages conservatives to avoid left-wing businesses, says Target is spinning its numbers to make its financial situation appear better than it really is.
"Something we found interesting," he tells OneNewsNow, "was the 2016 and 2017 comparable sales growth appeared to be buoyed by digital sales," Kuykendall tells OneNewsNow.
In-store sales do appear to be up but don't make up for 2016, he says, which suggests past customers are not returning.
Like the AFA campaign, 2nd Vote launched the #AnywhereButTarget campaign as part of its ongoing push to fight back against liberal corporations.
"There are millions of people around the country," says Kuykendall, "who have said we've had enough of corporations using their bully pulpits to advance the left's political agenda."
In a press release, Target CEO Brian Cornell stated the corporate is "very pleased" with the third quarter numbers, including traffic and sales growth.
Target emailed Cornell's comment when OneNewsNow sought comment.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.