Recently, there has been a great deal of buzz regarding Target’s new bathroom policy. On April 19th, the company made an announcement on the Target website stating “[We] welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity…Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.” This policy change has been met with a good deal of disapproval amongst consumers.

While many individuals are angered by the new bathroom policy, Target remains within its legal boundaries. The Target company is a private business. Private businesses can act on their own without government regulation. There is no legislation that requires private businesses to care about how you feel.

So, if the change is legal, how do those that are opposed respond?

Consumers have taken action against Target. The American Family Association has created a petition to boycott the company. Currently, AFA has over 1.2 million individuals pledged to avoid Target until a change in policy is made. This petition is the manifestation of consumers coming together to make change without government intervention, and it has worked.

From market-open on April 19th to market-close on May 12th Target stock dropped $8.39 per share. While all change in stock price can’t be attributed to consumer feedback, a change so significant is a signal of something wrong. The company has lost over $5 billion dollars in the last month.

This type of response is an effective example showing regulation of private business without government intervention. Consumers took away the money and the company is suffering.

Businesses adjust and develop as they continually try to sell products and services to consumers. Each company tries to appeal to a target audience. All changes are assessed by consumers. Their reaction, either buying the good(s) or not, determines the success of the business. Without the consumers’ money, all private businesses fail.

If you don’t like a company’s policy, don’t buy their product. A private business is not required to appeal to every single consumer’s beliefs and desires. However, if that company wants to succeed, it must compete for your business.