Discount retailer Target is feeling the effects of President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration via a noticeable drop in Hispanic shoppers, apparently, because customers have become too fearful of ICE agents to go out in public, according to Target Corp. chief executive officer Brian Cornell.
Speaking at last week’s Fortune Brainstorm Tech event in Aspen, Colorado, Cornell complained that one of the most sought-after demographics for retailers across the country has been affected by immigration laws, and his company’s stock prices have tumbled because those people are hiding at home.
“The Hispanic consumer in the U.S. is shopping much less,” Cornell said. “They are staying home. They are going out less often.”
Cornell said that stores located in “border towns” are losing the most money since retailers were used to cashing in on all the traffic crossing over the U.S.-Mexico border. These days, those areas are uncharacteristically quiet.
A recent survey from retail researcher NPD Group shows that Hispanic traffic at big-box stores has fallen eight percent over last year.
According to NPD analyst Marshal Cohen, there has “clearly been a pullback” among Hispanic shoppers. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said, “There’s concern about going out in an environment where you could be deported.”
On the other hand, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has reported that Hispanics are opening their own businesses at an amazing rate of 15 times the national average. And loan applications for Hispanic businesses grew by 68.7 percent last year, which points to a trend of Hispanics favoring local, family-owned businesses.
In light of customers boycotting Target after it implemented an unpopular multi-gendered bathroom policy, a data breach in 2013 which set them back more than $300 million, and their obvious inability to please remaining customers as they embrace illegal immigrants, it’s no wonder Target isn’t doing so well these days.
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