Target's Bad News Piles Up as Company Served with Legal Letter Demanding Books and Records


Here’s a way to go after woke corporations: Remind them of their legal obligation to their shareholders.

And do more than remind them — threaten them.

That’s what America First Legal is doing on behalf of a Target stockholder as it is demanding to see Target’s books and records regarding the retailer’s LGBT marketing to children.

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On Tuesday, AFL sent a letter to the Target board on behalf of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a Target stockholder.

In the letter, AFL noted that Target’s 2022 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said “the company’s core customer base is ‘families’” and that “management recognized … the serious risk to the company’s financial prospects if that core customer base were to have a negative perception of the corporation.”

AFL quoted Target as having said in its SEC filing, “Our continued success is dependent on positive perceptions of Target which, if eroded, could adversely affect our business and our relationships with our guests and team members.”

Despite those risks, Target, the AFL letter said, has been involved in “marketing overtly sexualized LGBT-themed product to young children in the hopes of scoring points in the culture wars … at the expense of Target’s core customer base — and thus at the expense of the company’s financial success.”

Are you boycotting Target?

In a news release, AFL stated, “Target and its Board of Directors have failed to uphold their fiduciary duties and should be prepared to explain to their shareholders exactly why they put ideology over shareholder interests.”

The AFL letter to the Target board includes pictures of LGBT children’s merchandise the retail giant has offered and describes T-shirts emblazoned with “Trans people will always exist!” and “Girls Gays Theys.” In the children’s section, mind you.

Target has also been selling LGBT-themed “onesies, bibs, and overalls aimed at newborns and toddlers,” the letter said.

Think about that for a second. Better — don’t.

In addition, Target has been selling “tuck-friendly” swimsuits for men to hide their genitalia and swimsuits for women to bind their breasts, according to the letter.

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Then there’s the explicitly satanic link to Target’s “pride” products.

Of course, much of this you’ve heard about, including the ensuing backlash, but the AFL letter goes into detail — maybe more detail than you care to deal with.

It is unbelievable that a mainstream company is involved in this. Yet Target CEO Brian Cornell has actually said such products are “the right thing for society,” according to the New York Post.

Thankfully, AFL is holding Target to account.

Using Minnesota law regarding corporate records, it’s demanding to see Target’s books and internal communications to determine the accurate value of its client’s stock and to “investigate potential misconduct and/or breaches of fiduciary duties” by the corporation.

Refusal by Target to turn over records means AFL’s client “reserves its right to file an action compelling compliance and to pursue all of its other legal and equitable remedies,” the letter said.

AFL’s action provides a good example of a strategy to thwart contemporary corporate craziness and the influence of investment funds pushing “diversity, equity and inclusion” instead of return on investment.

Opponents of woke goals should not only use boycotts but should consider buying shares in wayward corporations in order to voice objections at stockholder meetings and even work to remove management.

Good job, AFL.

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Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.
Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.