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    Target Removes Pride Merchandise Post Anti-LGBTQ Campaign, Foresees Profit Impact amid Theft, Retail Crime

    Credit Sean Wandzilak

    Retail giant Target Corporation (TGT) has made the decision to remove merchandise ahead of Pride Month due to safety concerns following threats from an anti-LGBTQ campaign that gained traction on social media, according to reports. For the past ten years, Target has offered LGBTQ merchandise during Pride Month, June, catering to LGBTQ customers, employees, and allies.

    However, this year, the company faced a viral anti-LGBTQ campaign that allegedly spread misinformation about its Pride Month products and business practices. The campaign, led by far-right figures on social media platforms, was reportedly aimed at harming the company’s sales and reputation.

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    Pride is a queer, Latina-owned fashion and lifestyle company producing goods that give the Latino community a sense of representation and a sense of continuity with their heritage.


    Right-wing commentator Matt Walsh expressed the campaign’s goal of making Pride Month toxic for brands, warning that they would face consequences for promoting LGBTQ products. The campaign turned hostile, with threats targeting Target employees and instances of damaged products and displays in stores. Faced with this challenging situation, Target had to make a difficult choice between protecting its employees and stores or continuing to support customers interested in purchasing LGBTQ merchandise. Ultimately, the company decided to prioritize employee safety and removed specific items that provoked the most volatile reaction from opponents.


    However, Target’s response drew criticism from LGBTQ advocates, who accused the company of yielding to extreme elements of American society and abandoning their support for the LGBTQ community. In Thursday’s early trading, Target lost about $9 billion in market value as irate social media users urged a boycott of the Minneapolis-based company over its launch of the “PRIDE” collection showcasing LGBTQ-friendly children’s clothing.


    In addition to these challenges, Target also reported a significant impact on its profitability due to theft and organized retail crime. The company anticipates a rise of up to $1.3 billion to its bottom line, with a substantial increase in inventory shrink compared to the previous year. Target emphasized that theft and organized retail crime are major factors contributing to this issue and that they are investing in strategies to prevent such incidents in their stores.

    Despite these difficulties, Target saw modest growth in sales and traffic. However, the significant profit loss raises concerns about potential store closures among Target’s nearly 2,000 locations. The company is committed to keeping its stores open but will carefully assess the safety of its team, guests, and the financial impact to determine the best course of action.

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    Biden extends support to LGBTQ children after Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill moves forward


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