In a surprise move, Target stores (NYSE: TGT) has announced it will impose a time limit on the hordes of moms who roam their stores daily in search of some vaporous salvation, with limited intentions of actually purchasing store items.
The so-called “Mommy Malaise” rule is expected to hit stores in Q2, and analysts are already praising the move, despite raucous opposition.
“This enactment will almost assuredly have no effect on sales,” says Goldman analyst Edmund Chu. “These women don’t buy anything typically. They just create more work for the staff by taking things off the shelf, and then inevitably leave them somewhere else when their kid spills a fruit pouch on the items.”
In addition to time limits, the rule also prohibits the growing “cart palette” trend, whereby mothers set up a makeshift bed in the base of cart so children can sleep while they monotonously orbit the perimeter of the store’s interior with an almost moon-like regularity.
The actions from the retail giant were met with swift hostility from mothers, particularly those with children under the age of 4. The acute and expeditious rage poured forth in a bevy of blog posts and raucous rants across social media.
Dallas-area mother of 3, Casey Keefe, began an online movement to protest the proposed changes, with the hashtag #BullseyeForAnEye, and a promise to take business elsewhere.
“It’s not fair to be targeted like this,” Keefe said in her 4th Facebook post on the topic within an hour of this writing. “My favorite Starbucks is at that location. If Starbucks sold diapers and paper towels, then I’d gladly spend my time there instead. But they don’t.”
Within 30 minutes, Keefe dejectedly added “Please don’t do this. Not like this. Anything but this. Take my van, or my husband. Not my Tar-Tar…”
Psychologist Amanda Knight likens the trauma of these actions to that of a child being weaned off an attachment object, something many mothers should well understand.
“Our analysis of these mothers’ actual subconscious feelings toward Target revealed an almost religious-like attachment to the place,” Knight said. “The anticipation of reward they feel upon entry to their store is almost tactile. They approach with a true expectation of renewal.”
Knight offered counsel for spouses struggling with how this change is affecting home life.
“This will not be an easy grief process,” she said. “You should expect to process all five stages. Listen to their threats to ‘take their business to Wal-Mart’ and validate them. But don’t worry, it’ll never come to that.”