Monday, August 9, 2010

Is the Target Boycott Counterproductive?

I have been thinking and reading about the boycott that Gay Rights groups have been waging against the super giant retailer Target. Because of Targets donation to Minnesota Forward, an organization that has given money to anti-gay politician Tom Emmer, groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and MoveOn.org, are calling for all LGBT and progressive people to show Target that we will not support them if they do not support us.

Now, Target has suffered a little bit because of the Boycott as Christopher Scott of the Kansas City GLBT Business Examiner explains.


Target stocks (NYSE: TGT) have slumped over the last couple weeks, partially in fear of boycott, since CEO Gregg Steinhafel first defended the company's controversial contributions on June 27th, costing the company over $1 billion in stock market capitalization, according to Minnesota's Pioneer Press, but today's market performance suggests that the heat may be lessening. 
Reporter Tom Webb wrote that "Shares in the Minneapolis-based discount retailer have declined 3.5 percent" in the first week after the news about the donations broke, and the stocks were still off, but slowly climbing, as the week closed. 
At today's closing bell, however, Target stocks were higher than they've been since June 18, closing at $53.67, and some analysts are predicting that the stocks will continue to climb, without even a mention of the recent PR nightmare the company has faced.
No additional response from Target makes it seem like they're waiting for the storm to blow over, and while LGBTQ and liberal groups and allies are certainly still upset, it seems the weather is starting to clear despite them.
But is this momentary "business suffering" that Target is experiencing really going to get our point across?I really don't think so, in fact I belive that the LGBT communities reaction to the Target donations will actually help the company in the long run.

Though the LGBT community makes up a very vocal minority, that is still what we are...a minority. Those who are against us - the Religious Right -  make up an estimated one-third of the U.S. population.  So, though the LGBT community might stop shopping at Target because of its donations and stance on the "gay" issue, Christian Conservatives - now knowing about the Target boycott because of the media frenzy that has surrounded it, are more likely to direct their shopping there; as they will be supporting a company that politically and morally falls in line with their beliefs.

So is the boycott going to work? I think that it wont, though I would like to see it work. Target is out to make money, it really does not care about the civil rights of its shoppers. And being that it is out to make money, if the anger of the LGBT community increases the Christians to their store, I'm thinking that they will go with the latter. And though I believe that we as the LGBT community must do something about Targets support for anti-gay politics and politicians, I don't think that a Boycott per say is the answer that we are looking for. Any thoughts on what else we might be able to do?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails