Target faces backlash over its Pride collection and is making adjustments to its marketing strategy.
According to an insider within the company, Target made “emergency” calls to managers and senior directors at certain stores last week in response to customer complaints about the collection. The calls reportedly instructed some stores to make their Pride products less prominent, “to avoid a Bud Light situation.”
The “Bud Light situation” refers to the beer company’s falling sales after partnering with transgender-identifying activist Dylan Mulvaney.
Target’s Pride collection includes “tuck-friendly” female swimwear and other products that caused outrage on social media. Target responded by removing some items from its stores, including a sweater that read “cure transphobia not trans people” and a “too queer for here” tote bag.
Target also faced criticism for offering “extra crotch coverage” female swimsuits. Although Target clarified that these suits were only for adults, customers expressed outrage. A spokesperson for the company stated, “We call our customers ‘guests,’ there is outrage on their part. This year, it is just exponentially more than any other year.”
In response to allegations of confrontational behavior, Target has adjusted its plans and removed items that have been sources of controversy. The company stated, “Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work. Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”