Target said customers should use the restroom of the gender they identify with, and everyone seems to have an opinion about the decision. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
Retailers are weighing in on the question of transgender rights as momentum builds against Target, whose stance on which bathroom transgender customers and employees can use in stores has sparked major backlash from customers who say they’re going to stop shopping there.
Hudson’s Bay Co. — parent company to Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue — and Barnes & Noble both told USA TODAY that employees and customers in their stores are welcome to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.
“HBC respects and affirms each person’s right to self-identify and access facilities that reflect their gender identity,” spokeswoman Tiffany Bourré said.
“As a company, Barnes & Noble treats all employees and customers with dignity and respect,” spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said. “For our transgender employees and customers, that means that they are allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.”
which operates Sears and Kmart stores, did not directly address the issue of bathroom use, but it expressed support for customer rights in general. “We have strict policies against discrimination and harassment of any kind,” spokesman Howard Riefs told USA TODAY. “We are fortunate to serve a diverse customer base across the United States.”
Other retailers did not respond to requests for comment, including Starbucks, Walmart, Macy’s, Whole Foods and Simon Property Group, which operates malls across the country. Although, Starbucks and Whole Foods, as well as Barnes & Noble, are among businesses whose executives signed on to a Human Rights Campaign open letter calling for the repeal of a North Carolina law that requires individuals using public restrooms to use the one that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.
That law, passed last month, has put LGBT rights in a glaring national spotlight and prompted hundreds of high-profile companies to pledge support for gay rights. Deutsche Bank and PayPal are among businesses that pulled back on expansion plans in the state in response to the law. The CEOs of Kellogg, Warby Parker, Salesforce, Goldman Sachs, Apple and Time Warner Cable are among those that signed HRC’s open letter calling for the law’s repeal.