A few days ago, Target’s CEO went on TV to defend their transgender bathroom policy:
The CEO of retail giant Target is zig-zagging between the many customers who are angered by his decision to open single-sex bathrooms to the other sex, the gender-identity progressives who pushed for the disastrous transgender policy, and the Wall Street stock-pickers who have chopped roughly $4.5 billion off the company’s value.
“We’re going to continue to embrace our belief in diversity and inclusion, just how important that is to our company,”CEO Brian Cornell said in a May 11 appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” business show. “But we’re also going to make sure our focus on safety is unwavering,” he added.
To mollify the public angered by his removal of single-sex restrooms and changing rooms, the company will add family bathrooms to all of its stores, he said.
But Cornell did not offer to return single-sex changing rooms, which is likely the most unnerving element in the company’s new open-door, pro-transgender agenda.
Target’s stock price has been getting hammered in recent days, but it wasn’t entirely clear what impact the boycott was going to have. Now it’s becoming a lot more clear:
Target is out with its earnings despite beating bottom line, it missed top-line and took an ax to Q2 guidance…
- *TARGET 1Q ADJ. EPS $1.29, EST. $1.19 (Good)
- *TARGET 1Q REV. $16.2B, EST. $16.3B (Bad)
- *TARGET SEES 2Q ADJ. EPS $1.00-$1.20, EST. $1.36 (Ugly)
In second quarter 2016, Target expects comparable sales of flat to down two percent, and Adjusted EPS of $1.00 to $1.20. Second quarter GAAP EPS from continuing operations will include approximately $0.17 of expense related to early debt retirement losses, and also may include the impact of certain additional discrete items which will be excluded in calculating Adjusted EPS. In the past, these items have included data breach expenses, restructuring costs and certain other items that are discretely managed. Beyond losses related to the early debt retirement, Target is not currently aware of any other material discrete items.
And the result – Target is down almost 10% in the pre-market…
At the time, some people took Target’s CEO showing up on TV as a sign he might be under some pressure. With their Q2 guidance for investors now being revised downward, it’s clear the consumer backlash has been having an impact. Target is part of a larger trend of US businesses, large and small, increasingly involving themselves in progressive politics and thinking they can simply do away with their conservative customers. The earliest example of this is the “mainstream” media, which has been declining in power and influence for years, reaching a new nadir under Donald Trump. But there are many other examples, such as Gawker/Kotaku’s war against its now former readership over the GamerGate controversy, the fallout of Mozilla’s firing of Brendan Eich, and now most recently the beating Target is taking over the transgender bathroom issue.
Why do these CEOs do this to their companies? It’s likely for a mixture of approval in their progressive social circles, behind-the-scenes pressure from the government, and the mistaken belief among the elites, especially elite progressives, that conservatives are a vanishingly tiny minority of internet wingnuts who barely exist in the real world. At least part of the reason for the backlash to Donald Trump is due to the discovery by these people just how many of us there still are in the country and just how limited they are in comparison.
Target’s timing was also terrible, as an increasingly large contingent of Americans are coalescing into a “sick of this shit” movement. They’re tired of the economic doldrums, the corruption, the government mismanagement, the increasingly open elite contempt for the populace, the organized efforts to purge Christianity from any form of public practice while promoting hostile and violent religions such as Islam, the endless tsunami of illegal immigrants and refugees, and the seemingly unlimited government redistribution of wealth to special interest groups. Target has put itself right into the middle of this mess by allowing men to declare they are women and walk into women’s changing rooms, something no one wants.
When progressives attempt social experimentation by using major companies to float trial balloons, don’t be surprised if those trial balloons float like lead balloons.