2ndVote is the outfit that kind of reverse engineered the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. It has several categories and rates companies overall for their Christianism. Consumers are encouraged to shop at the more religiously conservative outlets and services. Lately they seem to be arbitrarily increasing some scores. I guess they realized that all of corporate America wasn’t cooperating. That defeats the whole purpose since there are no 2ndVote-better options. Hence, 2ndVote manufactured supposedly better options.
That brings me to the subject of Target Corp.
On Tuesday Target reported a 3.4% increase in comparable holiday sales. Wednesday, Target shares are trading at their highest level in a year.
2ndVote has been a consistent cheerleader in support of the supposed boycott of Target Corp. by American Family Association, an anti-LGBT hate group. In November, 2ndVote assured us that the boycott was taking a big toll on Target. They even blamed last year’s fourth quarter earnings miss on the boycott.
On November 22 2ndVote sent out at email with the subject line: “#AnywhereButTARGET is impacting Target’s bottom line!” These rubes from Tennessee don’t know a P&L from a blender and Target provided no guidance to support their assertion. Question: If you pull a factoid out of someone’s ass, does that count as bearing false witness?
They go on to claim:
We launched our #AnywhereButTARGET campaign just one year ago during Target’s most critical time for business and we know they felt the impact. Last Christmas shopping season, Target reported a 3% drop in sales and saw profits decrease by 43% because of millions deciding to shop #AnywhereButTARGET.
The more likely explanation — the one proffered by financial professionals — is that target was facing increasing competition from on-line outlets like Amazon.com. Anyway, if it was the boycott then Target would likely not have reported a 3.4% increase in sales this holiday season.
Throughout the year, Target has been beating estimates and issuing optimistic guidance. Furthermore, Target stated that the boycott was not having a material impact on sales or earnings. Were that untrue, the potential consequences are severe. For a tiny conservative Christian group in Tennessee to essentially claim that Target is either wrong or lying about their guidance is ridiculous. It is also preposterous to suggest that people at that tiny conservative Christian group in Tennessee are better informed than retail industry analysts at major financial firms.
If the folks at 2ndVote don’t like being called rubes or hayseeds they need to simply stop acting like rubes or hayseeds. It’s mostly about controlling hubris.
Most, perhaps all, of AFA’s silly boycotts have failed. Their constituency is small and lacks the economic prowess to make any measurable impact.