While thousands of stores across the nation are stocking up for Halloween, Target has pulled this year’s most popular costume from their shelves: the clown mask. Target is taking action due to dozens of creepy clown sightings and disturbing news reports of clowns trying to lure children into the woods in South Carolina.
The masks will not appear in any of Target’s 1,799 U.S. stores, and searches for “clown masks” on Target.com offer zero results. The retailer’s decision speaks volumes. Target is showing customers that they care more about the safety and well-being of the community than making sales.
After their 2014 credit and debit card security breach, which put about 110 million customers at risk for identity theft, this is a wise PR decision. If Target is still working to regain customers’ trust and build up a positive reputation, taking a stand for the greater good will certainly help their efforts. Consumers value transparency, and the more honest and ethical Target is, the more their brand will benefit. Building a better relationship with the public is key, and should be much more important than a Halloween sales surge.
Target’s decision also sets them apart from other retailers that seem to be more concerned about sales. Party City is still selling clown masks and Halloween Express reported clown mask purchases are up more than 200 percent this year.
Following in Target’s footsteps is McDonald’s. The fast-food chain also took action in the wake of clown sightings by limiting the amount of Ronald McDonald appearances in the past few weeks.
Kudos to brands like Target that are putting society’s best interests first, and beware of creepy clown sightings this Halloween!