The Christmas shopping season is in full swing, and the American Family Association (AFA, afa.net) knows that many shoppers are hitting stores looking for just the right gifts for family and friends.
But the 40-year-old family-focused organization hopes shoppers will stay true to AFA's #BoycottTarget effort and avoid the retailer that allows men in women's restrooms and fitting rooms, thereby putting women and children at risk.
"Target is hoping shoppers will forget that the chain allows men into women's bathrooms and changing areas and will do their Christmas shopping at Target anyway," said AFA President Tim Wildmon. "But the American Family Association knows that millions of shoppers do care. Since April 2016, more than 1.5 million have pledged not to shop at Target because of this dangerous policy, and their commitment is making a difference."
As the Christmas shopping season kicked off, AFA shared with its more than one million friends and supporters an Action Alert outlining three convincing reasons to #BoycottTarget this Christmas.
- Sexual predators: Despite Target's denial that men entering women's areas is an issue, the reality remains that it is a major problem. AFA has documented several frightening incidents at the #BoycottTarget page. For instance, in October, a man was charged with videotaping a women inside a Target store changing room in Wisconsin. Also in October, police in Wichita, Kansas, investigated an incident of a man taking pictures of a woman and her 10-year-old daughter in the main apparel area of the store, according to the Wichita Eagle.
- Boycott efforts are impacting the company: Target's policy is costing the retailer money in a big way. Since the AFA boycott began, Target's stock price has dropped nearly 20 percent, hovering around 60 last week. In November, Target Corp. announced it will close a dozen stores in 2018. The 12 stores, CNBC reported, are spread across Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Texas, and will close Feb. 3.
- Stay the course with AFA to continue maximum impact. Any company as large as Target can withstand a short-term loss of sales. That's where Christmas shoppers come in, says AFA. Target is banking on this Christmas season to turn around negative trends in 2017.
"AFA is urging shoppers who are on board with the #BoycottTarget effort to hold firm to their convictions that men have no place in women's restrooms and dressing rooms, and will continue with their pledge to boycott Target, especially through the Christmas shopping season—both in-store and online," Wildmon said.
To add insult to injury, Target recently announced it would work to draw more men to stores with a marketing initiative that would offer products geared toward men, such as beer and beard wax. Read more from Bloomberg.com.
For those who want to urge Target to protect the safety of women and children this Christmas, AFA is suggesting three ways to take action:
- Sign the #BoycottTarget pledge. Encourage family and friends to sign the pledge, too, as boycott numbers climb to 1.5 million.
- Voice your concerns on Target's Facebook page.
- Call Target to politely let its executives know you've signed the #BoycottTarget pledge—Guest Relations, (800) 440-0680, option 1, then 1 again.
AFA has also prepared its 2017 "Naughty or Nice" list of retailers to help shoppers know which are Christmas-friendly—and which are acting like Scrooge.
For its 10th annual list, AFA has taken the top national retailers and reviewed their websites, media advertising and in-store signage in an effort to help shoppers know which companies embrace Christmas and which water it down into a generic holiday.
"This 10th year for the 'Naughty or Nice' list is significant because we can witness the progress of many retailers over the years," Wildmon added. "A decade ago, some stores routinely used the word 'holiday' to remain 'politically correct.' But we know now that most Americans want to celebrate Christmas and expect to hear greetings of 'Merry Christmas!' in their favorite stores. It's been gratifying to see the list become a success and know that some stores have taken this message to heart."
AFA reviewed up to nine areas to determine if a company is "Christmas-friendly." Print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), website and/or personal visits to the store helped determine a retailer's rating. If a company's ad contains references to items associated with Christmas (trees, wreaths, lights and so on), it was considered an attempt to reach Christmas shoppers.
For the 2017 list, more than 50 "Nice" retailers use the term "Christmas" on a regular basis and are considered "Christmas-friendly." The "Nice" list includes retailers from Ace Hardware to Zappos.com—and everything in between. Eight retailers this year made the "Marginal" list, meaning these companies refer to Christmas infrequently or only in select advertising mediums: Amazon.com, CVS, Kohl's, Old Navy, Safeway, Sears, Starbucks and Walgreens.
The 18 retailers on the "Naughty" list may use "Christmas" sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as companies, do not recognize it. These include: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Gap, Inc., The Limited, Maurice's, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Office Max, PetSmart, Staples, Stein Mart, Supervalu, UncommonGoods.com and Victoria's Secret.
See the full "Naughty or Nice" list here.
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