We’ve seen what has happened to Bud Light since they endorsed transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s “365 Days of Being a Girl” as he mocked girls and women. As I reported earlier, they’ve now been reduced to trying to sell their beer for free (with rebates). Yet, their sales have plummeted by 28 percent, by volume, just as we go into Memorial Day weekend, and they still don’t seem to be able to offload the stuff. They’re even buying some back from distributors at this point if it’s gone past the expiration date. If they can’t recover over this weekend, the beer experts are saying they may have lost a permanent section of their customers who are just not going to come back.
Now, Target is feeling that same weight since outraged customers have turned the boycott on them. My colleague Bob Hoge reported on their plummeting stock over the past week up to Wednesday. But it’s gotten worse.
A week ago Wednesday before the controversy erupted, Target’s stock closed at $160.96 a share, giving the big-box chain a market capitalization of $74.3 billion.
As of early trading on Thursday, however, shares of the company were trading off 1% at $141.76 — capping a weeklong tumble that has shrunk the “cheap chic” discount retailer’s value to $65.3 billion.
That amounts to a 12% drop that has shaved a whopping $9 billion off the company’s market capitalization.
And it’s still going down on Thursday, it’s now at $139.15, according to Market Watch, at about 2:42 ET.
Despite reportedly removing or moving controversial items from their LGTBQ Pride Collection that were targeted toward children, Target CEO Brian Cornell was doubling down on the woke agenda, as I reported, claiming it was “adding value” to their bottom line. “I think those are just good business decisions, and it’s the right thing for society, and it’s the great thing for our brand,” Cornell said. He claimed it was “building greater engagement” with their customers.
Maybe “building,” if Cornell is talking about the “bottom line” on their ESG score, and “engagement,” if that means more people boycotting. But it’s not good when it comes to their stock, not good when it comes to their sales, and not good for the company in the eyes of the American people.
They appear to be trying to step into it even more with an internal email that has leaked about the anniversary of George Floyd’s death.
That’s a bit like jumping from the frying pan into the fire, as they explained how employees could get mental health care if they were upset. The internal email did not mention Memorial Day or any care that the workers might need or care that they should be expressing to customers over that occasion.
As Bud Light shows, Target may have a limited time to turn this around. But it doesn’t sound like the CEO is getting it — he just keeps doubling down. So grab the popcorn, this is likely to get worse for Target, just like it did for Bud Light.
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