Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods went ‘woke.’ Here’s how that worked out with investors…

Two high-profile retail chains that cost their brands dearly over their embrace of “woke” left-wing politics are now getting backlash from investors.

Both companies are set to face pushback at their upcoming shareholder meetings in the form of proposals that seek to implement accountability over putting ideology over profits, a recent departure from traditional corporate values.

Conservative think tank the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) plans to criticize the “costly prioritization of progressive politics over profit” and seek “greater board accountability for corporate acts taken to advance the political or ideological views of management.”

Dick’s reacted to the Democrat-backed disarmament push in the aftermath of the deadly 2018 school shooting at a Parkland, FL high school by pulling guns from store shelves and destroying $5 million worth of inventory.

“We knew the system was broken. So we needed to really stand up and try to make some changes,” said Dick’s CEO Ed Stack.

At the meeting, FEP Deputy Director Stefan Padfield will cite comments by Stack who “claimed not to care about the financial implications of his value-killing decision to halt gun sales” in his response to the Parkland shooter’s purchase of a shotgun from one of the chain’s stores.

“In other words, a corporate decision was being made at the highest level, destroying as much as $250 million in shareholder value according to some reports, because the CEO thought his political beliefs about gun ownership gave him a license to treat the company like a personal plaything while brazenly disregarding his fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value. It is a small thing to ask the board to not hide behind a presumption of good faith in cases like that. Instead, shareholders deserve to be told precisely how that decision was made in accordance with fiduciary duties,” the NCPPR stated on its website.

Target is facing criticism over the popular big box retailer’s “Pride” month displays and promoting the transgender lifestyle to children, a stance that tens of millions of Americans found repulsive enough to boycott the chain’s stores.

“Recent events made clear that revenue, and therefore shareholder value, drop when companies engage in overtly partisan and divisive activism — especially the sort of LGBTQ activism that is demanded of companies by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI),” FEP said in a statement.

“Target — which has paid partnerships with HRC and similar organizations like GLSEN and Out&Equal — disastrously engaged in such activism when it aggressively touted radical gender theory in its stores. The backlash that ensued hurt sales and the stock price significantly, which resulted in a $12 billion lawsuit against the Company and caused Target to be rated ‘high risk’ on 1792 Exchange’s Corporate Bias Ratings,” the statement reads. “Was this damage to shareholder value a direct result of Target’s capitulation to the CEI criteria, which requires companies to market to the LGBTQ community in divisive ways?”

The far-left’s cultural dominance and control of the media message – not to mention support from the federal government – has led corporations to shift the ideological crusade to the forefront over their responsibility to investors and the long overdue backlash is coming, in spades.

 

Chris Donaldson

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