Fact Check

Activists Target Big Box Chain Target With Holiday Boycott?

Conservative activists angry over the retailer Target's stance on transgender rights have apparently launched a holiday season boycott.

Published Nov 23, 2016

An activist group has launched a holiday-season boycott against chain retailer Target.

In the lead-up to 2016's holiday shopping season, a conservative group is calling for a boycott of the big box retail chain, Target, for what they call a "liberal assault on common sense and decency."

The group 2ndVote, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is backing the effort with the hashtag #anywherebuttarget:

This Christmas season, we’re sending a message to one of the top corporate supporters of the liberal, LGBT agenda and we need your help.

We’re shopping #AnywhereButTARGET because we don’t think conservatives should fund Target’s dangerous social agenda.

Not only has Target publicly advertised that its stores’ gender specific facilities—changing rooms and bathrooms—are open to all comers, regardless of biological sex, but Target has also stood by the policy, despite falling revenues.

It’s time to make Target understand that there are consequences for supporting a radical movement that is determined to redefine marriage, gender, and, ultimately, the 1st Amendment.

Target raised the hackles of conservatives who were battling over whether transgender people should be allowed to use the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity in April 2016, when they announced transgender customers and employees were welcome to do so:

We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.

In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.

In August 2016 they announced an investment in creating gender-neutral restrooms:

Target, facing a boycott over its policy of allowing transgender customers and employees to use the bathroom of their choice, says it will spend $20 million to expand bathroom options at all of its U.S. stores.

Target (TGT) CFO Cathy Smith said Wednesday that the company has heard objections to the transgender bathroom policy from some customers, though she said other customers had voiced support. In response, Target has decided to expand its use of a third, single-toilet bathroom at all of its stores, which can be locked by users.

 2ndVote, apparently still upset over the symbolism of Target's stance during the bathroom wars of 2016, are pushing for shoppers who agree with them to avoid the chain as they shop for gifts and other holiday items.


Target blog. "Continuing to Stand for Inclusivity."   19 April 2016.

Isidore, Chris. "Target's $20 million answer to transgender bathroom boycott."   CNN Money. 17 August 2016.

Wahba, Phil. "Target's Transgender-Friendly Bathroon Policy Is Costing It $20 Million."   Fortune. 17 August 2016.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.