Target: DOWN DOWN DOWN
From the Federalist:
Several months ago, Target stores made an odd gamble. They risked alienating their primary customer base—moms with young kids—to win the praise of the transgender lobby. They announced their ill-conceived new bathroom policy on April 19, then recently announced their sales numbers for the first quarter since that policy.
How did it pay off?
USA Today reported that Big Red’s second-quarter earnings fell 9.7 percent and it “lowered its sales estimate for the rest of the year.” Reuters explained that net sales plummeted 7.2 percent compared to last year.
New stores open for less than a year saw their sales decline by 1.1 percent, not a good trajectory for building an essential early customer base off the local buzz of a shiny new store in the neighborhood.
The Wall Street Journal reported this is the first time Target sales have fallen at their more established stores in two years, and to expect further declines.
CEO Brian Cornell told the Journal, “Our number one challenge was traffic, which affected sales in all of our merchandise categories.”
Traffic—as in regular customers choosing to stay away from the store for some reason.
Target officials blamed their earnings drop on “a difficult retail environment,” but it was not so difficult for others. As Target was reporting flagging sales, CNBC reported that “the world’s largest retailer got even bigger during the second quarter.”
Big Blue enjoyed its largest sales gains across same-store comparisons in four years, an increase of 1.6 percent for Walmart’s American stores.