Target CEO To LGBT Community: We’re Not Backing Down!


Target Corp. is not backing down from its new policy of allowing transgender customers to choose the bathroom they wish to use, chief executive Brian Cornell told CNBC’s Squawk Box program this morning.

Target formally released its new transgender bathroom policy in April, but it didn’t take long for a backlash from upset customers to flood the store’s social media pages.

In a press release, the company announced its new policy saying, “We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”

For customers who still feel uncomfortable using the shared restrooms, Cornell says Target is planning to add more family restrooms in its stores. Currently, 1,400 of the company’s 1,800 stores already have family restrooms and hopes to have them in all their stores in the next few months.

“We want to make sure we provide a welcoming environment for all of our guests,” Cornell said. “One that is safe, one that is comfortable.” This morning on CNBC, Cornell said the company received “quite a bit of feedback” on the issue.

“We took a stance,” he said. “We’re going to continue to embrace our belief in diversity and inclusion, just how important that is to our company. But we’re also going to make sure our focus on safety is unwavering.”

Cornell also took a moment to remind its customers about the criticism they received in the 1960s when it was one of the first retailers to use African-american models in its advertising. “Back then, it wasn’t well received,” he said. “We had a lot of tough feedback. But sitting here today, we know we made the right decision.”

Watch his interview on CNBC below: