Target banned Salvation Army bell ringers?

surprised I hadn’t heard before today

Thanks Josh (Street)

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20 Responses to Target banned Salvation Army bell ringers?

  1. Joseph says:

    I just quit Target on Friday. On one side, Target’s policy makes sense, that if you allow Salvation Army, you have to allow everyone else to solicit.

    But really, behind the scenes, it is not “Target Brand Image” just like overhead pages for your lost child are not brand image. I like Target products, but they are pretty over the top on a lot of other stuff.

  2. Derek Lidbom says:

    Why can’t you allow only Salvation Army to solicit? Everyone else does (not that that’s a legitimate reason, but everyone else seems to get away with it without too much trouble). Plus, don’t they “assist” other charitable organizations at their discretion (ie. giving more to one than another)?

    I’m just curious…don’t really know much about all of that stuff.

  3. Joseph says:

    Well, they said that they got so many requests for solicitation based on the Salvation Army, that they decided to just ban it all.

    But what I was trying to say is that it’s not Targetish. The bell’s chepen Target’s image. You must realize that even though Target hates Wal-Mart, they still consistently fall behind the “W word”, so they do everything they can to distinguish themseleves from Wal-Mart by making Wal-mart look tawdry. Target is like the little brother who dresses nicer and behaves better than the older brother, but still loses to Wal-Mart.

    It’s really lame. Psycho target employees call Walmart the “W Word” and refuse to shop there.

  4. Derek Lidbom says:

    I call Walmart the W word/Evil empire/distorted capitalism/etc. and try to refuse to shop there.

    No apologies needed Ben…I didn’t mean that justified it, just that other companies obviously aren’t falling into legal trouble because of their (apparently) exclusive offers to the Salvation Army, and they also seem to be somehow handling all the requests Target says they can’t.

    That’s insightful Joseph. Very interesting.

  5. Sarah's mom says:

    Hmm. From a true capitalist perspective, I can only say that Target has a right to set policy they feel is in the best interest of their company. Those that disagree can boycott their brains out.

    I’m pretty sure Wal_mart allows the Salvation Army, as well as local hot dog fundraisers etc. as part of a concerted business effort to suck up to the local community and to be perceived as having a hometown connection rather than as a sincere humanitarian matter of policy. I’m sure Targets execs did some serious research before handing down the policy as posted here.

    As a hopeless cynic, I know I it would be nice if Wal-Mart and Target and Bill Gates and RJ Reynolds really cared about the poor and downtrodden, but it would also be nice if Forrest Gump really happened.

    I can’t wait to see what my liberal wiener brother thinks about this.

  6. sarah says:

    He’s probably getting his Botox and looking at his three purple hearts…..

  7. It’s really tough to fault Target for the position they’re taking. I’m sure they read the tea leaves and came to the conclusion that if some more controversial group came to them asking for access to the front of their stores (such as a pro life or anti war group), they’d be in a pickle. Surely we all can figure out the firestorm they’d have to deal with no matter what their decision was regarding those or any number of other controversial groups. This way they can simply say they have a hard and fast rule to not allow access to any groups. And do so with the credibility of already having denied access to a rather non controversial group such as the Salvation Army.

    Frankly, if anyone wants to give to the Salvation Army, they certainly won’t be lacking for opportunities. That said, it could still be said that perhaps this is just a cheesy scaredy cat action taken by Target. But even if it is, it’s no cheesier than judging a corporation simply on whether or not they’ll allow Santa’s helpers to stand out in front of their stores for 3 weeks out of the year.

    I’d say more, but i have a botox appointment.

  8. Scott says:

    Can’t they find something other than bells? Seriously, I hate having to walk by that noise to get into a store. It’s the equivalent of shining bright lights in people’s eyes to try to get their attention. It’s time for the SA to get a little more current with their tactics. This has nothing to do with Target or their policies, but I thought I’d rant.

  9. Derek Lidbom says:

    I dunno…if they could get the same just standing there, that would be fine, but I’d much rather have a bell ringing than someone saying something to me about giving. I like the fact that ringing a bell doesn’t single anyone out. That’s crucial in maintaining a positive status among the public.

  10. Being a traditionalist, I kind of like the bells. It’s almost as much a part of Christmas anymore as Christmas Carols, or the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. And i like the fact that, as Derek alluded to, there really is no pressure exerted on anyone to give.

    Being up north, however, i have to wonder how much Santa seniority is needed to get a bell ringing gig in an indoor area.

  11. Josh Creason says:

    I think the looks they give you if you walk by without giving is a lot of individual pressure.

  12. NY Santas must be more laid back than NC Santas then.

  13. Josh Creason says:

    You get the evil eye and head revolving stare if you walk by and avoid eye contact in KY.

  14. Derek Lidbom says:

    Make eye contact then? I think if I were ringing a bell for donations I might hate it more if people ignored me than if they acknowledged me and didn’t give anything. There’s just something about being ignored/avoided…

  15. Josh says:

    Its interesting how often we look at the Salvation Army as an annoyance – when they are in fact one of a few mission oriented denominations.

    I find Target’s action a bit repulsive – as someone who works in corporate America, I think its fair to say that for every good deed done by the corporation, there are in fact hundreds of true believers in the organization (sorry to pop the bubble, but real people work for coprorations – they don’t run themselves – though that would be cool…). Target’s decision says something about the people who make the decisions.

    And now for the unpoplular comment: has anyone reflected on why they feel the Santa is pressuring them to give? Ignoring the one that put me in a choke-hold last week, might the problem be with us, not with the Santas? [runs off to hide]

  16. “Target’s decision says something about the people who make the decisions.”

    Well, if the worst thing a corporation ever did was forbid the Salvation Army access to it’s stores, that would probably be an improvement.

  17. Josh Creason says:

    it just feels like they are pressuring to give to THEIR organization. It doesn’t matter what one may have given elsewhere, they want to see you put that $ in their bucket.

  18. Ben says:

    Because its a poor argument to continue a practice, just b/c everybody else does…..


    /me ducks.

  19. Ben says:

    Apologies for the last post, I just couldnt help myself.
    I do see the argument that Target makes, but I agree with Derek.

    Or maybe there are some legal implications here we are not aware of.

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