Add Barnes and Noble Booksellers to the Woke Club

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Woke companies risk losing business by focusing on social policies that hurt business growth.

When will woke companies ever learn that woke policies offend a significant portion of their customer base?

Will shareholders finally get fed up with the resulting inventory losses due to the implementation of wake-up policies that discourage customers?

Woke policies include support for LGBTQ activism, cancel culture, social justice, diversity over merit, and other non-business social issues that negatively impact business growth . And every corporate boulder knocked over these days seems to discover another example – in this case, Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

Let’s examine the topic in detail.

Walt Disney’s pride and joy’s “business seppuku” order has been making a lot of news in the past couple of months. His company is perhaps the first example of a woke company losing major value due to its implementation of pro-LGBTQ policies.

A media outlet reported on May 3 that “Walt Disney Co. has lost nearly $63 billion in market capitalization since deciding in March to embrace radical LGBTQ activism and declare war on Florida in s ‘opposing the state law on parental rights in education’.

A storm erupted when Disney’s support for LGBTQ influence on children came to light in March, as The Federalist noted here: Several Walt Disney Company executives and employees admitted to their own personal missions to flood 5-9 year olds with as much of their own sexual ideology as possible.

Protesters gather to oppose The Walt Disney Company’s stance against a recently passed Florida law outside the company’s headquarters in Burbank, Calif., on April 6, 2022. (Jill McLaughlin/The Epoch Times)

Besides the market capitalization drop, another unexpected blow to Disney was the loss of its status as an independent special district, which removes special Disney tax benefits, transfers all infrastructure assets such as roads, bridges , utilities, etc. to local governments, and puts an end to Disney. ability to construct new buildings without going through the cumbersome and expensive permitting process that other Florida businesses go through. SB 4C was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) on April 22.

Retailer Target Corporation has also been in the news recently. Target has been under fire since implementing a transgender-friendly bathroom policy in 2016, which led to numerous boycotts. The move resulted in a $15 billion writedown in February 2017. Target later doubled down on its “Take Pride” hashtag campaign promoting the LGBTQ agenda, as well as promoting “themed merchandise. ‘rainbow’ in its stores.

Fast forward to the 1,164-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on May 18. A Barron’s article pointed to Target’s losses as the main driver of the slide, with its shares down 25%.

While supply chain challenges and transportation costs have impacted Target’s balance sheet, the stigma of being a woke company has played at least a role in Target’s troubles, as former customers with traditional values ​​have a long memory.

And then there’s the venerable Barnes and Noble, Inc., America’s largest bookseller that seems to have stores in every major mall in America. Who among us hasn’t spent time searching a Barnes and Noble store for a good book to read?

The company has 600 stores nationwide and an online presence that boasts “more than 5 million books ready to ship, 3.6 million e-books, and 300,000 audiobooks for download,” according to the company’s website. society.

But did you know that Elliott Management acquired Barnes and Noble in 2019 for $683 million?

According to ABC News Australia, Elliott Management “is the largest activist hedge fund in the world.”

Epoch Times Photo
Paul Singer, founder and chairman of Elliott Management Corporation, speaks during the New York Times DealBook conference at One World Trade Center in New York City on December 11, 2014. (Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The New York Times)

The founder and chairman of Elliott Management is Paul Singer, a man who has supported LGBTQ issues for over a decade. He was perhaps the person most responsible for legalizing “same-sex marriage” in the United States thanks to the long-term support of various pro-LGBTQ organizations.

Singer’s LGBTQ activism now seems to have found its way into Barnes and Noble stores.

People raised in the central United States – from the northern plains south to Oklahoma – frequently notice that cultural changes that begin on the coasts take years to spread inland. Examples include the introduction of long hairstyles for men, the drug culture and the lack of respect for authority (the 1960s generation). And the same goes for LGBTQ activism.

A visit to the Barnes and Noble store in Billings, Montana, showed the bookseller’s shifting values ​​in 2022. A centrally located pyramid-shaped display showcased a slew of LGBTQ-related books, pamphlets, magazines and other items. Upon inspection, some of the material could only be classified as pornography according to traditional definitions. Transgender employees openly wore “we/they” pins as badges of authority. And the manager wore a t-shirt with a rainbow logo and an LGBTQ slogan as apparently his “uniform.”

Customers should ask themselves: is it now Barnes and Noble policy to enable and support gender dysphoria?

Conclusion

While Barnes and Noble is perfectly within its rights to project a pro-LGBTQ aura in front of its customers, the company does not recognize and respect the equally valid rights of its customers to be offended by what many consider to be gross immorality. . There is a big difference between condoning (endorsing) and tolerating (treating something as harmless) – the latter being what LGBTQ activists seek to impose on others.

Is Barnes and Noble ready to lose the business of longtime customers they offend in the name of LGBTQ awakening, virtue and activism? This is the permanent question for all these enlightened societies. There are certainly alternatives.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Epoch Times.

Stu Cvrk

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Stu Cvrk retired as a Captain after serving 30 years in the United States Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and Western Pacific. Thanks to his training and experience as an oceanographer and systems analyst, Cvrk graduated from the US Naval Academy, where he received a classic liberal education that serves as the essential basis for his political commentary.

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