Target’s PRIDE collection has been met with public outrage, leading to a loss of over $13 billion in market value. KeyBanc Capital Market has downgraded Target’s stocks due to their failure to outperform as expected. This slump in stock prices is linked to the reinstatement of student loan payments as part of the debt ceiling agreement. Furthermore, JPMorgan downgraded Target’s stock due to the predicted reduction in consumer spending amidst escalating inflation. Over the quarter, the company’s shares have plummeted by more than 20%.
The controversy surrounding Target revolved around their offering of swimsuits specifically designed for male genitalia and the inclusion of items from a controversial designer in their PRIDE collection. In reaction to this backlash, Target decreased the visibility of its PRIDE displays. However, the retail giant now faces criticism from both sides, with accusations of prioritizing profits over the support of the community.
Target’s shares have been on a downward trajectory for several weeks in a row, marking their worst performance in close to five years. As reported previously, this led to a $12 billion loss in market value within the span of two weeks. Yet, Target’s worth continues to slide, with the public disapproval of their “Pride Collection” causing billions in value depreciation.
In the face of this backlash, Target chose to move its Pride sections in certain stores and reduce the merchandise on display, particularly in the rural South. However, many continue to express dissatisfaction, primarily due to these items remaining available for purchase.
Public sentiment has played a significant role in directing Target’s actions, prompting the company to address worries over specific products deemed as ethically unacceptable. Amidst this controversy, Governor Gavin Newsom of California took to Twitter to chastise Target’s choices, accusing CEO Brian Cornell of abandoning the LGBT community. However, these claims have been dismissed as overstated and politically skewed.
Target’s historical endorsement of the LGBT agenda, going back to 2012, has not been without controversy. Their decision to install gender-neutral bathrooms was met with particular disapproval, igniting fears over potential misuse and inappropriate activities. Since 2014, Target has championed gender neutrality, launching a gender-neutral children’s line and incorporating inclusive restroom policies.