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Target loses $9 billion in ‘PRIDE’ and trans collection backlash

Shopping giant Target has lost $9 billion after launching a controversial collection of clothing designed by a brand that specializes in Satanist-inspired merchandise. A 2023 “PRIDE” collection featured a “tuck-friendly” swimsuit to obscure male genitalia, and other items such as a tote bag with “Too Queer for Here” beneath a UFO image.

Since last week, the company’s stock fell from just over $160.00 to about $141.00 a share, amounting to a 12 percent drop. Target reported an annual $109 billion in total revenue in 2022, a 2.9 percent increase from the previous year.

National Review notes that the backlash “was partly inspired by Target’s partnership with Abprallen, a brand that specializes in merchandise that features satanic imagery and that glorifies violence against alleged ‘transphobes.”

“When Target approached the brand Abprallen, the retail giant was fully aware of the brand’s Satanist-inspired merchandise, according to a statement posted on Instagram by the designer.”

Target initially sold three Abprallen products as part of its 2023 “PRIDE” collection: a messenger bag saying “We Belong Everywhere” across trans-flag colors and planets, a tote bag with the message “Too Queer for Here” beneath a UFO, and a “Cure Transphobia, Not Trans People” sweatshirt. The three items are no longer for sale online.

Target has claimed that employees are experiencing “threats” which impacted their “sense of safety and well-being while at work.” The corporation directed some store managers to relocate pride-themed merchandise away from the front of their respective locations.

“Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior,” Target said in a statement on May 24. “Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.”