July 24, 2017
Target Blames Donald Trump for Lower Hispanic Shopper Traffic
After over a year of falling foot traffic and tumbling stock prices, retail giant Target is now obliquely attacking President Donald Trump over the claim that his policies have driven Hispanics to avoid shopping in public.
At last week’s Fortune Brainstorm Tech event in Aspen, Colorado, Target Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell claimed that Hispanic shoppers, a sought-after demographic for retailers across the country, have stopped leaving their homes to shop, presumably for fear of being deported.
“The Hispanic consumer in the U.S. is shopping much less,” Cornell claimed according to MSN Money. “They are staying home. They are going out less often.”
Cornell didn’t mention President Trump by name, but he did mention the lack of Hispanic shoppers in “border towns” where retailers often see traffic over the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Target chief was likely influenced by recent surveys following the habits of Hispanic shoppers at the nation’s largest retail outlets. Retail researcher NPD Group claims its survey shows that Hispanic traffic at retailers fell eight percent over last year.
Marshal Cohen, an analyst at NPD, said that there has “clearly been a pullback” among Hispanic shoppers. “There’s concern about going out in an environment where you could be deported,” Cohen claimed.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Cohen claimed. “It’s really there and material.”
Hispanics are well-known entrepreneurs, and NPD Group does not track small businesses, so it isn’t clear if the tens of thousands of small businesses across the country run by Hispanics and for Hispanics have also seen any similar drops in shoppers.