Chanting Points Memo: Donating To Emmer Is Bad For Business

Somebody on Twitter pointed me to this PiPress  story claiming that Target’s stock value is suffering because of its donation to MNForward, which is supporting Tom Emmer in this fall’s Minnesota Gubernatorial race.

“Shares in the Minneapolis-based discount retailer have declined 3.5 percent since the morning of July 27, when Target Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel first defended the donation, prompting critics to call for a consumer boycott,” Tom Webb writes for the Pioneer Press.

Perhaps things are finally sinking in at Target headquarters. Last week, Target execs issued a statement amidst all the public scrutiny, saying that they’re brainstorming ways to make amends.

“At Target, we listen to our guests, our team members and our communities — and we have heard them on this issue. We are committed to doing better and regret that we have let down our team members and guests. We are evaluating ways to make sure they know the high value we place on our relationships with them,” Target folks said in a statement.

Interesting claim.  Could it be that Target’s stock price took a hit precisely because of the news of its donation to a PAC supporting Tom Emmer?

That would be very bad indeed.

So I took the liberty of checking the stock prices for four leading consumer big-box stores for the past month or so.  I compared:

  • WalMart – in red, on the chart below.
  • Target – the slightly lighter blue line (Google quotes didn’t let me change colors…).
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average – the darker blue line.

If you look at the chart, it certainly looks like Target stock did take a dip starting on the 27th of July when, as “” noted, the flap over the Emmer donation first surfaced.

Of course, the red line for famously orientation-blind and non-fabulous “WalMart” is flat to very slightly improved in that period, too – and seemed to take a slight dip on or around the 27th, as well – not nearly as pronounced, but a dip nonetheless.

So I figured I’d broaden things just a bit.  I picked some more big-box retailers:

  • WalMart – in red, on the chart below.
  • Costco – in orange below.
  • Family Dollar – in dark green, on the chart below.
  • Target – Finally, the blue line.

Note the longer scale of the chart below; it’s a month, so July 27 is about a quarter of the way in from the right;

All of the retailers are soft-to-wobbly on and after the 27th – and especially the 23rd through the 27 – with one exception; the dark-green “Family Dollar” chain, whose attitudes about gay marriage are unknown but whose market is downscale and distinctly recession-friendly.

And I thought – “Downmarket Family Dollar doing well, mid-to-low market WalMart and Costco flat to down, mid-to-uppish Target just a tad down…”

So I checked to see if there was a correlation, bringing some higher-end stores into the mix.I added:

Wow.  On or about July 27, all of the upmarket retailers started taking a dive, more  or less in parallel with Target!  Abercrombie bounced back, of course; Macy’s is down, just a tad more than Target is.

Apparently the market is punishing many companies, regardless of their donations to Tom Emmer!

Or maybe – juuuuust maybe – there was a major announcement about consumer confidence released on or about the 27th that showed bad results for consumer spending or something – a trend that miiiiiight just favor lower-budget stores like Family Dollar, WalMart and Costco, while being a little harsher on slightly higher-concept operations like Macy’s, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Target.

Regardless of their political donations.

Oh, yeah – and while Target is off a bit since July 27, it’s still up over the month.

13 thoughts on “Chanting Points Memo: Donating To Emmer Is Bad For Business

  1. Nice research!
    Have you emailed the writer of the story (Tom Webb) with this info?

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  3. Terry, I’m surprised at you!

    You know perfectly well that liberat writers and reporters don’t care about facts. They know the only real story.

    Please try to do better next time.

  4. If you look at the big picture of Target’s stock price, it is even more interesting.

    Target’s stock price stayed nearly flat historically until 1995, when it starts to go up dramatically. Who took control of Congress in ’95?

    Then in mid 2007, when the most ethical Congress ever takes charge, the stock price drops like a rock for 2 years.

  5. Maybe Tom Webb’s next story should be about how things always happen in threes, breaking a mirror causes seven years of bad luck and cats will try to suck the air out of a baby lying in a crib. The guy has serious problems with the concept of cause and effect. Perhaps a change in medication would be in order.

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