retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune this morning reports that Target Corp. is in ongoing trouble with the gay community because of its perceived support of anti-gay causes.

According to the story, Target has “apologized over its $150,000 donation to an organization backing a Republican candidate with a long record of opposing gay rights.” It also remains “locked in closed-door negotiations with largest gay activist organization in the country, the Human Rights Campaign, which is demanding that the giant retailer make an equivalent or greater donation to groups supporting equal rights candidates. And the group seems to have found a powerful lever: The threat to come out against the construction of two new stores that Target has planned in San Francisco – a city in which gay rights groups have exceptional political influence.”

Target is promising to pay more attention to the organizations to which it donates money, but it may not be enough. The Human Rights Campaign has some negotiating power here, since, and the Tribune writes, the gay community has long embraced Target as a more progressive alternative to the famously conservative Walmart.
KC's View:
Yet more proof how transparent the world is these days. You have to be careful about pretty much everything you do, because if you make a mistake and alienate a segment of your customer base, you are almost always going to be called to account.