Target’s (TGT) first-quarter performance and expectation of lower sales in the second quarter scared investors Wednesday.
The company said it expects sales in the second quarter to be flat to down 2%.
Target shares closed down 7.6% Thursday at $68.00.
“We continue to see consumers spend cautiously,” CEO Brian Cornell said on a call with media. “It’s been a very wet and cold start to the year in the Northeast, and it’s been reflected in our sales.”
A prominent petition against Target over the transgender bathroom policy it announced last month did not lead to any major fallout, Cornell said.
“We’ve tracked the feedback carefully,” he said. “We have not seen a material nor measurable impact on our business.”
Target sparked both outrage and an outpouring of support when it publicly announced that transgender customers and employees are welcome to use store bathrooms of the gender they identify with. A petition signed by people pledging to boycott Target over the policy quickly gained hundreds of thousands of signatures. It currently stands are more than 1.2 million signatures.
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