WASHINGTON (Talon News) — A Christian group declared victory with their holiday boycott of Target stores nationwide on Thursday after the retail giant announced its fourth quarter sales numbers fell short of expectations.

As Talon News reported last month, the National Clergy Council (NCC) called for their 5,000 Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox, and Protestant clergy members and 30,000 lay delegates in all 50 states to use their influence to persuade their congregations, organizations, family, friends, and associates to suspend holiday shopping at Target stores because of their refusal to permit Salvation Army bell ringers to solicit contributions in front of its stores during the holiday season.

There was concern at the time about the charitable organization losing as much as $9 million in donations because of the snub by Target.

The boycott officially commenced on December 10, and the NCC provided its supporters a list of stores where they could shop and support Salvation Army bell ringers and give money in the trademark red kettles.

The NCC had asked to meet with Target CEO Bob Ulrich regarding this issue, but he failed to respond in a timely manner.

NCC President Rev. Rob Schenck said at the time, “Target’s bad public relations decision will cause irreparable harm to the Salvation Army’s unparalleled programs, [and] … they should not be rewarded for such Scrooge-like policies.”

In fact, the Target boycott was dubbed “Operation Teach-Scrooge-A-Lesson” internally by the NCC and Schenck promised that it would continue until Target stores change their policy and join with others in supporting America’s oldest, best-known Christmas charity campaign.

It appears based on the financial news reports on Thursday that the boycott has made an impact on the bottom line at Target.

After fourth quarter projections cuts were announced on Thursday, Target Corporation’s stock fell almost 4 percent to $49.41.

Schenck said the boycott will continue throughout the year until Target decides to change its mind about allowing the Salvation Army to collect contributions next Christmas and beyond.

“This is not about being vindictive,” Schenck explained. “It’s about teaching proper moral and civic responsibility to corporations that make bad public policy decisions. This isn’t personal, unless, of course, you’re talking about the personal injury Target is doing to the poor who are helped by one of America’s oldest, most reputable and most effective charities.”

He added, “This boycott will remain as long as Target maintains their ban of the Salvation Army’s bell ringers.”

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