According to news sources, pharmacy giant Walgreens recently adopted a company-wide policy similar to Target’s letting men enter women’s restrooms — and vice versa — in its more than 8,000 stores.
The policy reportedly was implemented after one customer in California complained about being barred from entering the women’s restroom.
Apparently Walgreens hasn’t learned from Target’s mistake.
Since rolling out its bathroom policies nearly 2 years ago, more than 1.5 million people have signed the American Family Association’s pledge not to shop at Target, and the retailer’s stock price has tumbled from nearly $83 per share in 2016 to $73-$74 per share as of this morning.
In December Target announced plans to close 12 of its larger stores in 2018. According to CNBC, the stores are located in Minnesota, Kansas, Michigan, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, and Texas.
Even Target’s management has acknowledged that letting men enter the women’s restrooms and changing areas at its stores has been bad for business. However, the CEO has stopped short of saying the policy itself is bad.
Policies like these not only are bad for business. They’re bad for customers. Giving men an excuse to loiter in or around women’s restrooms or changing areas puts women and children at risk.
For example, last year a New Jersey man allegedly videotaped women in the changing area of a Target store.
A few months earlier a different man was caught photographing women in a Target store’s changing area as well.
In 2016 a Seattle man entered the women’s locker room at a pool twice — once while a girls’ swim team was present. When confronted, he told staff, “the law has changed, and I have a right to be here.” No action was taken against the man.
These are the sorts of problems that happen when businesses let men enter women’s restrooms. However, that doesn’t seem to be stopping Walgreens from following in Target’s misguided footsteps.
Photo Credite: By Anthony92931 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.