Missing the Target

Target’s decision to not only stock but give pride of place to transgender-themed children’s clothing has sent shock waves through the national media and the retail industry this week.

It isn’t the first time the retailer—one of America’s largest—has missed the target for its customer base.

In 2016, Target released a policy allowing men who identify as women to use women’s bathrooms, at a time when a greater share of Americans had their wits about them and were not afraid to scoff at LGBT overreach.

However, it is difficult to overstate the gravity of Target’s latest bout of trans madness. The company’s 2023 “PRIDE” collection features onesies for infants with transgender flag colors and phrases like “Bein Proud.” Their children’s book section includes titles like Bye-Bye Binary and What Are Your Words?, teaching the young and otherwise-innocent how to use transgender pronouns.

“Tuck-friendly” swimsuits, chest binders, and T-shirts featuring drag queens are all part of the insidious range of products.

Worst of all was Target’s decision to partner with a company that promotes Satanism. The London-based label Abprallen designed sweatshirts and tote bags for Target carrying messages like “live laugh lesbian,” “cure transphobia not trans people,” “too queer for here,” and “we belong everywhere.” Abprallen has also created apparel that includes satanic imagery like pentagrams, horned skulls, and references to the devil, one of which reads, “Satan respects pronouns.”

It was only within the last two weeks that Target’s CEO Brian Cornell waxed lyrical about big brands normalizing deviancy in an effort to boost DEI ratings.

“I think those are just good business decisions, and it’s the right thing for society, and it’s the great thing for our brand,” Cornell boasted on Fortune’s Leadership Next podcast. “The things we’ve done from a DE&I standpoint, it’s adding value.”

Cornell went as far as claiming that Target’s focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion “has fueled much of our growth over the last nine years.”

Doubtful. It certainly hasn’t fueled any growth over the last week. As of writing, Target’s share price has plummeted 12 percent since the controversy began, wiping some $9 billion from the company’s market capitalization.

Now social media posts calling for a Target boycott have gone viral, dwarfing last month’s Bud Light boycott that has created a world of hurt for parent company Anheuser-Busch.

Bud Light sales have dropped for six weeks running and are mostly to blame for a 25 percent sales drop since the same time last year. Even the legacy press has taken notice of the Bud Light boycott. One headline from NBC News—an outlet committed to promoting transgenderism—has conceded, ‘Nobody imagined it would go on this long’: Bud Light sales continue to plummet over Mulvaney backlash.

Among the cultural critics spearheading the Target boycott is Daily Wire podcaster Matt Walsh, who on Thursday wrote:

In a separate tweet, Walsh added:

Target itself has acknowledged the backlash. An internal staff email that was leaked online began, “Yesterday was a very hard day for Target.” However, the unrepentant memo continued, “As CEO Brian Cornell said, thank you for the care you’ve shown each other, our frontline teams, and the LGBTQIA+ community.”

The Minneapolis-based retailer’s sacrificial commitment to wokeness is truly impressive. The email then pivoted to the George Floyd anniversary, stating, “Today brings more reflection, pain and the need for continued care as our team, hometown and world remember the murder of George Floyd,” and encouraging staff to “make space to take care of yourself and each other”.

Target’s leadership is either ignorant or apathetic about the rift they have caused with a significant sector of their patrons.

All the signs suggest that in coming weeks and months, countless Americans will make the principled choice to sidestep Target and shop at other department stores. Will they miss Target? Maybe.

More certain is that Target will miss them.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons-TaurusEmerald, CC BY-SA 4.0