Retail analyst Britt Beemer said Target's strategy isn't very smart, especially in a conservative, Republican state such as Oklahoma.
“Anytime a retailer gets away from doing what they should be doing by being involved in a social cause, you always lose in that environment,” he said. “It could be a big mistake, especially in southern markets.”
But Josh Sauer and Matt Harney, members of OKC Pride's board of directors, say Target's move is a step in the right direction, though they haven't yet seen the merchandise.
Harney added that the phrase is a clear indication of how the retailer stands and is the same message OKC Pride uses.
Many consumers use the Human Rights Campaign's corporate equality index to decide where to spend dollars, Sauer and Harney said. Target is one of the highest rated retailers with a score of 85 out of 100. Harney said the buying power of gays and lesbians is typically higher than average consumers because they are less likely to have children, so they have more expendable income, and retailers are recognizing that.
“We've come a long way. Opinions are changing and if companies aren't on board, they're going to be left behind,” Sauer said.
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