Target LOSES $14 BILLION in market value as backlash over controversial “Pride” collection continues
By Cassie B. // Jun 05, 2023

Target is the latest company to find out the meaning of “get woke, go broke” as the backlash over its controversial LGBT Pride line of products has led to a major financial setback.


Financial services giant JPMorgan downgraded Target’s stock from “neutral” to "overweight” as its market value dropped $14 billion in the fallout from its decision to promote the product line. JP Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers said: “We continue to believe that the consumer is broadly weakening while the share of wallet shift away from goods (51% of [Target’s] sales) is ongoing.”

Their stock is currently sitting close to a three-year low after shares have fallen nearly 20 percent this quarter.

Target’s Pride product line, which contained items such as mugs with slogans like “gender fluid,” rainbow-colored clothing, onesies for newborns, “Super Queer” party supplies and home décor, has been the source of several controversies. Particular areas of contention include the products geared toward children and a female swimwear range with swimsuits bearing a label boasting of their “tuck friendly construction” and “extra crotch coverage” to facilitate hiding a man’s body parts inside. The line features swimsuits labeled as “Thoughtfully fit on multiple body types and gender expressions."

After some customers expressed their distaste for the way some of the items promote transgenderism to youth and its prominent location in the front of stores, the company adjusted its merchandising plans. They stated: “Since introducing this year’s collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing 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.”

For example, at some stores in the South, much of this merchandise had to be moved to the back of the store. Many of the items in question were designed by a self-proclaimed Satanist, transgender artist Erik Carnell.

Carnell said that companies like Target who launch these types of lines want to profit from LGBTQ individuals but are quick to abandon them when controversy strikes.

One Target insider explained the changes that were made in response to the backlash to Fox News: "We were given 36 hours, told to take all of our Pride stuff, the entire section, and move it into a section that’s a third the size. From the front of the store to the back of the store, you can’t have anything on mannequins and no large signage."

Many Target workers were relieved, with some claiming they had been confronted by customers who disapproved of the products and some even fearing for their safety.

Target was afraid of a "Bud Light situation"

The Target insider added that they felt the company was “terrified of a Bud Light situation.” The beer maker has seen its sales plummet following a partnership with transgender activist and influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Mulvaney, who transitioned from a man to a woman, posted about the company sending him cans of Bud Light featuring his face on social media in a video entitled “Celebrating 365 days of womanhood.” Consumer backlash was swift and strong, resulting in numerous boycotts, competitors gaining ground, and the executives behind the promotion being placed on leave.

The combined market value of Target and Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, has dropped by nearly $40 billion in the wake of consumer boycotts.

Target also spurred a boycott in 2016 after posting a public statement announcing that “transgender team members and guests” would be allowed to use whatever bathrooms and fitting rooms they wanted.

Sources for this article include:

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