Target Corporation’s funding of Mn Forward, a political action group that’s advertising in support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, may be affecting the company internally more than externally.
While laying low publicly, CEO Gregg Steinhafel has sent his second memo to his employees in a little over a week:
Dear Target Leaders,
I have heard from many of you, and our team members, over the past week regarding Target’s contribution to MN Forward, and I appreciate your engagement and candor, both of which clearly demonstrate your loyalty and passion for our company.
In situations like this, it is often difficult to find the right words, but I would like to respond with the same honesty you have shown me.
The intent of our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation. While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.
We remain fully committed to fostering an environment that supports and respects the rights and beliefs of all individuals. The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests.
Going forward, we will soon begin a strategic review and analysis of our decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena. And later this fall, Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.
Thank you for sharing your input and for your continued commitment to making Target an even stronger company.
Chairman, President and CEO
Meanwhile, earlier today I asked a friend in San Francisco whether the issue is percolating in San Francisco, where Target is trying to open its first store in a city that hates big-box retailers and, obviously, has keen ear for perceived transgressions against the GLBT issues. She reported there hasn’t been a peep about it.
From the sound of today’s memo, that’s not the case inside the company.
As for Mn Forward, they’ve apparently got their own internal woes (click for larger image):
(h/t: Julia Schrenkler)