"At Target we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs, and when a new album is available digitally before it is available physically, it impacts demand and sales projections....While there are many aspects that contribute to our approach and we have appreciated partnering with Beyonce in the past, we are primarily focused on offering CDs that will be available in a physical format at the same time as all other formats. At this time, Target will not be carrying Beyonce's new self-titled album 'Beyonce.'" (Target spokesperson Erica Julkowski via Billboard Magazine)
As of Dec 19th, the Beyonce album has sold 617,000 copies - via iTunes. Though I understand Target's position, I believe they are only hurting themselves as similar retail protests in the past have not deterred record labels or artists from developing unique content offerings.
What I find ironic is that Target's protest is contrary to their own exclusive Beyonce campaign back in 2011 which included an exclusive edition of her album "4" with six additional tracks only available at Target. In addition, Beyonce starred in a Target commercial promoting the exclusive album stating: "I put so much into my new album, and only Target gives you all of it"!
Bottom line, Target will lose valuable physical sales during the most profitable sales weekend of the year, if they are comfortable with this choice as a protest then I cannot fault them but the retail mantra has always been to get people in the store!