Target’s CEO is admitting that made a mistake in their handling of the transgender bathroom policy and their reaction to North Carolina’s law.
Target Chief Executive Brian Cornell hadn’t approved the April 19 post, which responded to a move by North Carolina to legislate bathroom use, said people familiar with the episode and its aftermath at Target. He didn’t see an email notifying executives of the post, and was surprised to learn about it.
The next day, a conservative Christian nonprofit, American Family Association, called for a boycott of Target, saying the policy “is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims.” Protesters picketed stores from Clovis, Calif., to Mount Dora, Fla.
At Target’s Minneapolis headquarters, executives scrambled to control the damage, according to the people familiar with the aftermath, perplexed that they were pilloried for a policy common to retailers. Sales started to decline and have now in every quarter since.
After an internal review, executives determined the negative publicity was the tipping point for some stores, especially in the South, that were already not inviting or competitive enough to give shoppers a reason to come back. Target has now embarked on a multibillion-dollar revamp.
Mr. Cornell, 58 years old, expressed frustration about how the bathroom policy was publicized, and told colleagues he wouldn’t have approved the decision to flaunt it, these people said. Target didn’t adequately assess the risk, and the ensuing backlash was self-inflicted, he told staff. Now, it was too late to reverse course.
(NOTE: Subscription required to read the rest of the article at WSJ.com)