After months of standing strong on their position, Target has started to feel the impact of the negative campaigns and this was made apparent by a disappointing second quarter earnings announced last 17 August. However, Target refused to attribute the declining sales on the protests, but, instead, they placed the blame squarely on Apple.
Comparable store sales at Target overall fell by 1.1 percent, but Target executives noted that electronic sales decreased by double digits and "accounted for 70 basis points of overall comp decline."
Even more notably, Target specifically pointed out that Apple product sales were down by "more than 20%" year-over-year and were to blame for a third of the overall plunge of electronic sales at the store.
Apple's growth has been running into a bit of trouble recently, as the astounding success of the iPhone 6 has made for tough comparisons. Earnings growth for the tech giant was bad enough in the second quarter to shift overall tech sector year-over-year earnings growth from positive to negative.
It's important to note that with the upcoming release of the iPhone 7, many Apple customers are just sitting on the sidelines waiting for the newest product. This would explain much of why sales have slowed down.
Still, Apple’s stock price has been doing well, as analyst expectations have been revised down, allowing Apple to beat lowered expectations.
The same can’t be said for Target, whose shares are currently trading down by over 5 percent. They're significantly closer to 52-week lows than 52-week highs.
Target noted that it was working with Apple to try to improve sales and refuse to buckle up and address the real reason behind the slump.