Target plans to spend $20 million to build single-occupant restrooms to appease shoppers uncomfortable with its stated policy that allows transgender customers and employees to use the restroom of their choice. That statement spurred a public debate on the issue and several protests, including a boycott by the American Family Association. Target hasn't changed its policy, but rather will now expand the number of single-stall bathrooms with individual locks. The great majority of the company’s 1,800 stores already had these facilities, but the remaining 300 will be fitted with the third restroom — at a cost of close to $20 million.
Total Retail's Take: Target was one of the first retailers to come out and take a stance on the transgender bathroom issue. Its decision to allow transgender employees and customers to choose the restroom that corresponded with their gender identities didn't come without its fair share of controversy, however. Some praised the move as inclusive, while others, including the American Family Association, loudly voiced their displeasure, claiming the policy presented a public safety threat. Target's latest move, one that I think makes the most sense — although easy for me to say since I'm not footing the $20 million — seems to appease both sides of the debate, giving all customers the right to choose either using a single-stall bathroom or enter the bathroom that corresponds with their gender.