Target Hopes $20M Will Solve Transgender Bathroom Problem

It's adding a third, single-person restroom to all its stores
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2016 12:45 PM CDT
Target Hopes $20M Will Solve Transgender Bathroom Problem
Target will spend $20 million on additional restrooms for its US stores in an effort to make sure all customers feel comfortable.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Target will spend $20 million trying to make sure everyone who needs to go to the bathroom at one of its stores feels comfortable, CNN reports. According to USA Today, Target suffered some backlash last spring when it announced it would allow transgender customers to "use the restroom ... that corresponds with their gender identity." In the wake of that backlash, the company announced this week it will install a third, single-person restroom to the few hundred US stores that don't already have one by March 2017. The single-occupancy restrooms can be used by anyone. "At the end of the day, Target is all about inclusion," a Target spokesperson tells CNN. "We want everyone to feel comfortable in our stores."

However, Target will still maintain its restroom policy for transgender customers. And that's a problem for groups like the American Family Association, whose spokesperson tells the Wall Street Journal it will continue to be a "bathroom free-for-all" at Target. The AFA claims more than 1.3 million people have signed an online petition to boycott Target. While Target has seen a 7% drop in sales this year, CFO Cathy Smith says that's not due to the boycott. She also says the addition of third restrooms to all Target stores was not a response to the boycott but something Target CEO Brian Cornell had already planned. Regardless, Target's announcement Wednesday was hailed by the National Center for Transgender Equality. (Read more Target stories.)

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