Target’s market value has plummeted by $9 billion following calls for a boycott by social media users over the company’s launch of the “PRIDE” collection, which includes LGBTQ-friendly children’s clothing. Just a week ago, Target’s stock price closed at $160.96 per share, resulting in a market value of $74.3 billion for the retail giant based in Minneapolis.
However, as of early Thursday trading, the company’s shares were trading off 1% at $141.76, culminating in a week-long decline that reduced Target’s value to $65.3 billion, representing a 12% decrease.
Target announced on Tuesday that it would be removing certain items from its stores and making other changes to its LGBTQ+ merchandise nationwide ahead of Pride month. Target released a statement saying, “Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work.”
Target faced backlash not only for its LGBTQ-friendly collection but also for Designs by Abprallen, a London-based company known for its LGBTQ+ apparel and accessories with occult and satanic themes.
Target CEO Brian Cornell defended the company’s decision to display the merchandies, stating that it was “the right thing for society.”
Target has not disclosed the specific products that will be discontinued, but items like “tuck-friendly” women’s swimsuits garnered significant attention.
Target’s situation has been compared to that of Bud Light, which saw declining sales after a controversial marketing campaign involving transgender social media celebrity Dylan Mulvaney. Bud Light’s sales have declined for six consecutive weeks since the boycott calls, with a 25% decrease compared to the previous year in the most recent week.