Target’s Stock Downgraded by JPMorgan Amid Backlash

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On Thursday, Target Corporation’s stock was downgraded by JPMorgan to “neutral” from “overweight.”

The financial institution cited “too many concerns” with the retail giant. Over the past 30 days, Target’s stock has dropped approximately 18 percent due to calls for a boycott against the company over its decision to sell LGBT-themed items and clothes, including onesies for children and books instructing kids to use transgender pronouns.

In response to the criticism, Target removed some of the pride merchandise, causing backlash from some LGBT groups. A GLAAD spokesperson accused the company of bowing to a “small group of extremists” and cast the move as a trend in which LGBT people “are being attacked with threats and violence like never before.”

However, conservative commentators have criticized other firms for selling Pride Month merchandise, including pro-LGBT slogans. PetSmart and Kohl’s are among the companies that have faced such backlash. The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens wrote: “Target has been an openly perverted company for a long time—many million times worse than Bud Light and worthy of being boycott[ed] out of existence.”

JPMorgan analyst Christopher Horvers stated that “we continue to believe that the consumer is broadly weakening while the share of wallet shifts away from goods (51 percent of [Target’s] sales) is ongoing.” As a result, Horvers downgraded the stock. While still positive on a three-year basis, Target has been giving back share on a one-year view, and we believe this share loss could accelerate into back-to-school and linger into holiday given consumer pressures and recent company controversies,” he wrote. “This could turn [Target’s] traffic negative after an impressive run of 12 consecutive positive quarters.”

Target’s decision to remove some “pride” products came weeks after Anheuser-Busch’s decision to produce a Bud Light can with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s face, which drew widespread backlash on social media.

Target confirmed that it is removing some LGBT-themed merchandise after customer backlash last month, although the firm has sold “Pride Month” items in previous years.