Retail giant Target is directing some stores to relocate Pride-related merchandise in an effort to appease customers outraged by “gender expression” products and LGBTQ-themed children’s items.
The company’s LGBTQ-themed items were released this month and include “tuck-friendly” bathing suits, chest binders and packing underwear along with “gender fluid” mugs, and greeting cards with messages like “I’m so happy that you’re queer” and “You’re my chosen family,” and a Queer All Year calendar.
Fox News reported on May 23 that a company insider said that “many locations, mostly in rural areas of the south, have relocated Pride sections to avoid the kind of backlash Bud Light has received in recent weeks after using a transgender influencer in a promotional campaign.”
Consumers called for a boycott of Target over the products, taking issue with the swimwear as well as the pride-themed children’s clothing – including onesies, t-shirts, socks, and swim skirts with a tag reading “Thoughtfully Fit on Multiple Body Types and Gender Expressions.” Target also sells a collection of children’s books focused on LGBTQ issues and non-traditional gender expression.
“Target is evil. If a company targets kids, that company shouldn’t exist. Bud Light them,” tweeted conservative media personality Liz Wheeler.
“Thanks to @Target I found the perfect swimsuit for creeping out all the women and children at the pool this summer,” wrote comedian Chrissie Mayr, who shared photos of the “extra crotch coverage” bathing suit. “Can’t wait to tuck my cock into this little number while sipping a Bud Light!”
Target collaborated with clothing brand Abprallen for its “Cure Transphobia, Not Trans People“ sweatshirts for adults, a tote bag, and a belt bag.
The insider said “emergency” calls were made to store managers and district senior directors on May 19 as the online critique of the merchandise continued.
“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,” the unnamed Target insider told the outlet. “From the front of the store to the back of the store, you can’t have anything on mannequins and no large signage … We call our customers ‘guests,’ there is outrage on their part. This year it is just exponentially more than any other year.”
“I think given the current situation with Bud Light, the company is terrified of a Bud Light situation,” the source continued.
Bud Light’s sales have plummeted as a result of a nationwide boycott of the beer after the company partnered with Dylan Mulvaney for an ad campaign. Mulvaney, who identifies as a transgender woman, is a controversial social media influencer who posts predominately on TikTok.
There are 1,954 Target locations across the United States. The company reports that 75% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Target. In 2022, Target reported $109 billion in total revenue.
Some of the Target stores that were directed to relocate their Pride merchandise and remove signs were reportedly located in South Carolina, Arkansas and Georgia.