Originally published May 25, 2023 8:52 am PDT
Target Corporation, a prominent figure in American retail, has seen a substantial decline in its stock prices.
Target launched its so-called “Pride” apparel this year at the start of May, offering more than 2,000 products, including clothing, books, music, and home furnishings as part of its “Pride Collection.”
The company’s shares have dropped by 9.21% on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) since last month.
Target also issued an internal email to all employees explaining the pushback resulted in a $9 billion loss within a single week.
The controversy has been stirred by a selection of items in Target’s Pride Month wardrobe, most notably “tuck-friendly” swimsuits for trans women and designs from Abprallen, a London-based company known for its occult- and satanic-themed LGBTQ clothing and accessories.
The swimsuits, specifically designed to allow trans women who have not undergone gender-affirming surgery to conceal their private parts, were part of the catalyst for the ensuing uproar.
Abprallen’s designs, too, were met with criticism, with items like a sweatshirt bearing the phrase “Cure transphobia,… not trans people,” and a messenger bag stating, “We belong everywhere” among the contentious pieces.
One of the designs found on the apparel maker’s T-shirts and pins bears the message, “Satan respects pronouns.”
This has led to widespread criticism from various groups, raising concerns about the appropriateness of such merchandise for children.
Public reaction to these products has resulted in a significant backlash, pressuring the company into removing some of the contested items from its store shelves.
In the wake of the mounting backlash, Target has reportedly moved its Pride merchandise to less prominent locations within some of its stores in the Southern regions of the U.S.
This comes after a number of confrontations and complaints from shoppers in these areas, reflecting a deep-seated divide on the issue.
The retail giant’s controversial decisions have inevitably affected its market performance, with a significant drop in stock prices clearly demonstrating the financial implications of the ongoing controversy.
Target’s financial hit after promoting far-left-wing ideologies is a stern reminder to businesses of the sensitive balance between upholding their corporate values and meeting the expectations of their customers.
As of now, it remains uncertain how the controversy will unfold in the longer term or how it might further impact the company’s financial performance.
Target is owned by infamous financial asset managers BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street.