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Target announces that Pride month merchandise will only be available in ‘select stores’ following backlash from last year

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In response to the backlash faced last year regarding some of their LGBTQIA+ products, Target announced that their new Pride collection would only be available in select stores. The collection, which includes adult apparel, home, food, and beverage items, has been curated based on consumer feedback and historical sales performance. Target has a history of displaying Pride Month products in June, but the addition of controversial items such as female-style swimsuits for “tucking” male genitalia caused significant outrage among consumers in 2023.

It has been reported that Target is likely to stock the new Pride products in about half of its nearly 2,000 stores in the US, a departure from previous years when the collection was available in all stores. The decision to limit availability comes after the viral backlash faced last year, which led to threats against team members and the rearrangement of displays in some stores. Some locations, particularly in rural areas in the South, reportedly relocated their Pride sections to avoid negative responses similar to those faced by Bud Light after a controversial promotional campaign featuring a transgender influencer.

An anonymous Target insider revealed that there were “emergency” calls made to managers and district senior directors to address the growing outrage among customers. The insider mentioned that the company is fearful of facing a situation similar to the one experienced by Bud Light, hence the quick actions taken to tamp down the Pride sections in stores. Despite the challenges faced, Target remains committed to offering a collection of Pride products based on guest insights and consumer research.

When asked to comment on the situation, a Target spokesperson reiterated that the Pride collection would include a variety of products catering to different preferences. The spokesperson emphasized that the selection has been carefully curated to meet the demands of consumers and reflect the company’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity. Despite the challenges faced in the past, Target remains dedicated to providing a range of Pride products both online and in select stores to celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community.

In conclusion, Target’s decision to limit the availability of their Pride collection to select stores comes after facing significant backlash for controversial items in the past. The company remains committed to offering a curated selection of products that reflect consumer feedback and historical sales performance. Despite the challenges faced, Target is taking proactive measures to ensure a positive experience for all customers while celebrating and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community through their Pride collection.

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