retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal this morning has a piece suggesting that with all the strategic and tactic issues challenging Target, its position on allowing customers and employees to use restrooms corresponding with their gender identities has proven to be nettlesome. "For Target," the story says, "the posting of what was its long-held practice quickly became an expensive and distracting lesson about the perils of combining the web’s megaphone with touchy social issues."

While gay advocacy groups applauded the move, some conservative and religious groups objected loudly and called for a boycott.

Ironically, the blog posting about restroom policies at Target was never approved by CEO Brian Cornell, who sees it as a self-inflicted and unnecessary wound that created more problems for stores that already were struggling.

You can read the entire story here.
KC's View:
I have to be honest here. I have several readers who, every time we have a story about Target's issues, have come back to the bathroom issue and have suggested that I was blind to the impact that it had on the company's business.

If the Journal story is to be believed, they are right and I've been wrong.

I still think that this issue may be more divisive in some regions of the country than others, but maybe it has been a mistake to underestimate how it resonated with some folks. My miscalculation on this can be traced to a certain epistemic closure on my part - I'm a child of the northeast with urban predilections, and I'm happy to own that. But sometimes it means I miss things.