Target learned a lesson: Pride Month plans already upsetting LGBTQ activists

News & Politics

After facing backlash, Target will limit which stores sell LGBTQ-themed merchandise for Pride Month.

Last year, the retail giant became the target of a boycott for selling “tuck-friendly” bathing suits, LGBTQ onesies for babies, and other pro-trans and pro-LGBT merchandise. Target later removed some of the LGBTQ products — or moved them to less trafficked areas of their stores — after losing billions of dollars in market value.

‘Target’s decision is disappointing and alienates LGBTQ+ individuals.’

The backlash resulted in a sizeable drop in revenue for the second quarter of 2023.

Target executives have seemingly learned their lesson.

This year, Target will use its discretion when placing LGBTQ products in its stores, only selling such items “in select stores, based on historical sales performance,” the company announced last week.

That’s a significant policy change. In previous years, Target offered Pride Month merchandise in all of its retail stores.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Despite the change, Target still wants everyone to know it is an LGBTQ ally.

A company spokesperson said:

Target is committed to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month and year-round. Most importantly, we want to create a welcoming and supportive environment for our LGBTQIA+ team members, which reflects our culture of care for the over 400,000 people who work at Target.

The ferociously pro-LGBTQ Human Rights Campaign, meanwhile, is upset at Target’s decision.

“Pride merchandise means something,” claimed HRC president Kelley Robinson. “LGBTQ+ people are in every zip code in this country, and we aren’t going anywhere. With LGBTQ+ people making up 30% of Gen Z, companies need to understand that community members and allies want businesses that express full-hearted support for the community. That includes visible displays of allyship. Target’s decision is disappointing and alienates LGBTQ+ individuals and allies at the risk of not only their bottom line but also their values.”

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