Select Target stores in various locations across the United States have recently downsized and relocated their LGBTQ Pride merchandise displays to less prominent areas at the back of the stores.
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This decision was made in response to a series of “emergency” calls received by Target managers and district senior directors, particularly in southern and rural areas, urging them to limit the visibility of the Pride sections.
A Target insider revealed the changes were implemented to avoid a situation similar to the recent controversy involving Bud Light. Within a tight timeframe of 36 hours, the Pride merchandise, including mannequins and large signage, was required to be moved to a smaller section at the back of the store.
The informant, who has been with the retailer for nearly two decades, mentioned customers, referred to as “guests” by Target, expressed outrage over the decision. The source also attributed the company’s apprehension to a “Bud Light situation,” alluding to the negative consequences faced by Bud Light after a recent collaboration with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
Target has been known for its extensive Pride month displays in previous years, but this year’s offerings have garnered significant criticism from regular shoppers. Some clothing items have drawn attention for features such as “extra crotch coverage” and “tuck-friendly construction” for cross-dressing men.
Furthermore, the retail giant recently partnered with Abprallen, a London-based trans-Satanist fashion company, for some of its Pride Month merchandise. The collaboration includes products that feature pentagrams, horned skulls, and other Satanic imagery, along with items such as pins and tee-shirts promoting slogans like “Satan Respects Pronouns.”
The abrupt decision by Target management to relocate the Pride displays was considered unusual, as it occurred even before the commencement of Pride Month. The removed displays were subsequently replaced with bathing suits as part of an effort to boost swimwear sales.
The collection also includes clothing for adults, newborns, party supplies, home décor, and various books that explore gender identity and LGBTQ+ themes. Some shoppers have expressed concern over the content of the Pride merchandise, particularly when it comes to children’s products, claiming that Target is targeting young consumers.
As the controversy surrounding the Pride displays unfolded, Target swiftly worked to downplay its involvement with Gay Pride gear. The company’s actions are seemingly motivated by Bud Light’s sales decline after its controversial partnership with Dylan Mulvaney.