The negative news keeps coming for the Target Corporation, but if anyone has put a bull's-eye on the chain's back, it's the retailer itself.
After announcing a controversial restroom and fitting room policy this spring—a policy that alienated families, along with more than 1.4 million shoppers who have signed the American Family Association's (AFA) #BoycottTarget pledge—the corporation recently announced dismal second-quarter earnings.
Fox News and an NBC affiliate in Dallas both reported last week that police are looking for a man who took pictures of a woman trying on clothes at a Target store there. According to Fox, the woman told police she was undressing in the changing room when she noticed a cellphone camera pointed at her.
"Target is using deceptive language in a desperate attempt to put shoppers' minds at ease," said AFA President Tim Wildmon. "Single-stall bathrooms are fine, but they do not stop the danger to women and girls. The only solution is reversing this ill-advised, dangerous policy. Special sales events also do not make shoppers feel safe. It's clear now that Target has no regard for its shoppers' safety. The corporation and its leaders, including CEO Brian Cornell, are denying the facts that the bathroom policy, the boycott and the fears of former shoppers have anything to do with the retailer's financial woes. We still believe Target doesn't value the safety of families, and because Target refuses to address our concerns, the boycott will remain."
Even with revenues down, the company said it was spending $20 million to install single-stall, lockable bathrooms in all of its stores, in a weak effort to respond to the backlash regarding the policy that puts women and girls in danger. And in a desperate attempt to draw shoppers to stores, Target offered a first-time-ever 10 percent discount on every product in its stores and online Sunday, Aug. 28.