Target Faces Sales Decline Following Pride Collection Controversy

Target Modesto, California | Source:

Target, one of America’s leading retail chains, has seen a slump in its sales.

This marks the first time in six years that the company has reported such a decline. For Q2, the sales went down by 5.4% compared to the previous year, and even their digital sales weren’t spared, witnessing a 10.5% drop. The total revenue for this quarter was $24.8 billion, which is 4.9% less than the same period last year.

The root cause of this decline is believed to be the backlash Target received for its Pride Month collection. Intended as a tribute to the LGBTQ+ community, the collection showcased children’s swimwear catering to various body types and gender identities. It also featured adult clothing with pro-LGBTQ+ messages and books for young readers that revolved around LGBTQ+ themes.

However, the collection didn’t sit well with a section of the public, leading to widespread criticism on social media platforms and calls for boycotting Target. The company, in response to the uproar and to ensure the safety of its staff, decided to remove certain items and rearranged the collection’s display in some outlets.

Adding fuel to the fire, it came to light that a designer linked with the Pride collection had previously created products with Satanic symbols. This revelation, coupled with the ongoing boycott, resulted in a nearly 20% fall in Target’s stock value.

Christina Hennington, Target’s Chief Growth Officer, while acknowledging the challenges, highlighted the company’s dedication to adapt and evolve. She mentioned that the feedback from the public on the Pride collection would be taken into account for future strategies. Target is now looking to revamp its Pride collection for the upcoming year, considering changes in product positioning, launch timing, and the range of brands.

It’s worth noting that Target isn’t the only company facing such challenges. Anheuser-Busch, the company behind Bud Light, also saw a decline in sales due to a boycott stemming from its association with a trans-identifying influencer.