No, Target’s stock didn’t plummet because of transgender bathroom rules

The rolling back of transgender bathroom laws has the country up in arms, but it hasn’t affected Target’s stock.

The internet can be a lovely place, but often times it’s pretty ugly. More information is at our fingertips than any other previous generation on this planet, yet that leads to both vitriol and — to use the phrase of the year — fake news.

In the case of the rumor about Target’s stock plummet recently, vitriol lead to fake news that needs to be addressed. This past week saw President Trump roll back laws that protected transgender students and their decision to use whichever bathroom they wanted. This speaks to the larger fear that the administration will dial back protections on the LGBTQ community and stoked both fears and outrage.

Target’s stock shares took a steep dive at the end of February, which many began to blame on the chain’s policy that customers and employees can use the bathroom they gender identify with. The root cause of this traces back to a likely culprit — Breitbart News.

Here’s the problem with that: the pro-transgender rules were implemented in April 2016. While it’s feasible to believe that over the course of less than a year, Target’s shares could have dropped from conservative investors and customers going elsewhere it doesn’t correlate with a sudden sharp stock decline.

Such a boycott would have a gradual effect on Target, the breadcrumbs of which would lead back to April and not the end of February. As Snopes points out, the decline in Target’s stock has much more to do with competitors swiping at the chain in the marketplace — the Amazon’s of the world.

Specifically, Target vastly underperformed during the 2016 holiday season, which has damaged their bottom line.

Look no further than the following quote from Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, as to why Target struggled during this past holiday season.

“Target is neither a full-line grocer nor a player with lots of niche specialty products; it is neither a high-end player, nor a price focused discounter.”

It’s easy to hijack this trend and turn it into something else, but there’s nothing to see here but fake news.

 

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