A boycott against Target over its bathroom policy seems to be costing the retailer more than anyone expected.
The boycott started in April after Target announced that it would welcome transgender customers to use any bathroom or fitting room that matched their gender identity.
The announcement triggered an immediate backlash. Critics said the policy opened the door for sexual predators to victimize women and children inside the retailer's bathrooms, and more than 1.4 million people signed a pledge to stop shopping at Target unless it reversed the policy.
But Target didn't back down.
Now shopper traffic is declining for the first time in years, and the company is installing single-occupancy bathrooms in all of its stores to give critics of the policy more privacy. The new bathrooms, which already exist in a majority of Target stores, are costing Target $20 million to install, Fortune reports.
The company revealed its traffic declines last week when it reported second-quarter earnings.
Target's same-store transactions, which is how traffic is measured, fell 2.2% in the second quarter. Overall, sales fell 7.2% to $16.2 billion.
"In the second quarter, our No. 1 challenge was traffic, which affected sales in all of our merchandise categories," Target CEO Brian Cornell said last week on a call with analysts.