Target Moves LGBT Displays After Conservative Boycott but Will Still 'Celebrate Pride'
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Target's stock value is taking a hit after a conservative firestorm prompted the major retailer to make changes to some of its blatant LGBTQ+ support just weeks before Pride month.
Conservative influencers called for a boycott of the company last week. Since then, Target has lost $9 billion in market value and its stock fell by 12 percent, the National Review reports.
Target is also facing intense backlash from the other side too.
The Minneapolis retailer is facing criticism from the left for moving gay pride merchandise from the front to the back of the store. Some of those products include "tuck friendly" transgender-style swimsuits, LGBT-themed children's clothes, and a line of items that featured slogans like a "Live Laugh Lesbian" shirt, "cheers queers" glass, and "gender fluid" mugs.
Liberal supporters claim the corporation bowed to boycott warnings from conservatives.
"Target should put the products back on the shelves and ensure their Pride displays are visible on the floors, not pushed into the proverbial closet," stated Kelley Robinson, president of The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ+ activist group in the U.S.
"So disappointed in @target right now," one TikTok user wrote.
In a statement, the company claimed it made the move due to safety concerns for employees.
"Since introducing this year's collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members' sense of safety and wellbeing while at work," Target stated. "Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans."
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Fox News first reported Target held an emergency meeting over its LGBT Pride displays to avoid a "Bud Light situation", referring to the plunge in sales of Bud Light after the brand made Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer, its spokesperson.
Bud Light lost $5 billion in its stock value that week.
"We were given 36 hours, told to take all of our Pride stuff, the entire section, and move it into a section that's a third the size. From the front of the store to the back of the store, you can't have anything on mannequins and no large signage," a Target insider told Fox.
"We call our customers 'guests,' there is outrage on their part. This year, it is just exponentially more than any other year," the Target insider continued. "I think given the current situation with Bud Light, the company is terrified of a Bud Light situation."
Conservatives had taken to social media days before the retail juggernaut moved the display threatening to boycott.
Target does NOT deserve our business!!!— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) May 23, 2023
BOYCOTT TARGET!!!!! pic.twitter.com/R2YyM62rXP
"The goal is to make 'pride' toxic for brands. If they decide to shove this garbage in our face, they should know that they'll pay a price. It won't be worth whatever they think they'll gain. First Bud Light and now Target. Our campaign is making progress. Let's keep it going," tweeted Daily Wire host Matt Walsh.
I think this Target boycott has real staying power. Target has now branded itself as a far left organization, to the point where it’s embarrassing to shop there. This is the branding that makes the boycott stick. It happened to Bud Light. I think it’s happening to Target.— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) May 25, 2023
"I can't say I'm a huge boycotter type of person, but I'm in to boycott Target. They have been pushing this perversion on our children for far too long. I'm in on the national boycott," wrote pro-life advocate Abby Johnson. "Let's take a stand for our kids. Who's in??"
Worship leader and evangelist Sean Feucht asked his followers to commit one week to not shopping at the retail outlet.
Even after the corporation made changes to its display Feucht said it wasn't enough. "We are not backing down," he wrote in another post.
Target said the controversy around their pride collection began with hostile behavior. The company said customers knocked down Pride displays at some stores, angrily approached workers, and posted threatening videos on social media from inside the stores.
But Christian conservative and social media influencer, Blake Guichet, says she is not entirely convinced that is the sole reason the retailer made the changes in all of its stores.
"I yet again feel myself torn," she wrote. "I really hate that conservatives have been harassing employees. The pride stuff isn't their fault. They're just doing their jobs. At the same time, you know it is not the ONLY reason they pulled it. They're pivoting because people made enough of a ruckus."
She added, "There's space in the middle to say we want to be better but also draw a line in the sand."
Target said the company's focus is now "on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year."
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