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Target pulls back on Pride Day merchandise



After seeing its stores invaded by aggressive protestors who threatened employees over LGBTQ-themed products last year, Target is making some changes to how it approaches Pride month in 2024.

The retailer says it plans to limit the number of stores that sell LGBTQ-themed merchandise this year, limiting its offerings to “a collection of products including adult apparel and home and food and beverage items.” Bloomberg reports just half of the 2,000 U.S. locations will sell the Pride-themed items. That’s a drastic reversal for the company, which has sold items in all of its stores for the better part of the past 10 years.

Stores that will carry the products will be decided based on historical sales performance, the company says. Target said it would carry the products on its website as well.

“We continue to support LGBTQIA+ organizations year-round, including Human Rights Campaign, Family Equality and more,” the company said in a statement.

Target found itself square in the center of the culture wars last year. Protestors confronted employees in store and would knock down Pride merchandise displays. Social-media posts, meanwhile, would feature video from inside stores with some protestors showing aggressive behavior.

Much of the attention was focused on a swimsuit for transgender adults, which opponents wrongly claimed was made for children.

LGBTQ advocates, however, were upset Target gave in to the intimidation.

“To protect the team in the face of these threatening circumstances, we quickly made changes, including the removal of items that were at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior,” said CEO Brian Cornell during a call with investors last year.

A boycott by far-right protestors led to a sales drop (its first in six years) and the company vowed last August to make “modifications” to its Prime Month collection.

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