The media is calling what happened to Target a “Pride Month backlash”. That’s not true. Target has been doing Pride Month for a long time. So have most major corporations. They’re not being boycotted over that.
Bud Light got hammered for endorsing Dylan Mulvaney’s contemptuous mockery and transgender displacement of women. Target did even worse by pushing destructive and harmful ‘chest binders’ for young girls.
Now Target has lost an estimated $10 billion in value after promoting “chest binders”. These dangerous and damaging pieces of equipment are meant to groom girls into identifying as boys. The chest binders were allegedly being sold in sizes as small as XS. The company also offered baby onesies and bibs promoting transgenderism.
It’s positively medieval.
One teenager wrote, “Binders tend to be used as a temporary solution to the problem of having breasts and cannot be worn at all times. During exercise they can restrict breathing, and back and chest pain can come from wearing them for more than about eight hours at a time. You should also never sleep with a binder on.”
A 20-year-old wrote in and said, “The longer I used binding, the more I could feel my body deteriorating. The physical pain got worse but so did the emotional. Slowly I began living a life where I couldn’t not bind. The initial euphoria of flatness turned into never being able to get flat enough. My body aches every day, I no longer have the lung capacity I once had, and my ribs have inverted. I fear breaking one when I sneeze.”
Target also promoted transgender swimsuits and other means of eliminating women. The overpriced store chain didn’t just get caught in a backlash from conservatives, but from plenty of women who hate this stuff.
And women are Target’s customer base.
Even with the boycott underway, CEO Brian Cornell and Target dismissed customer objections to its war on women.
Cornell claimed that Target’s “focus on diversity and inclusion and equity has fueled much of our growth over the last nine years.” In reality, it’s lost the company billions of dollars.
Now Cornell is admitting that the boycott hurt and trying to assure angry investors that Target learned something from it.
Target said shopper backlash over its Pride Month collection, as well as cautious consumers, pushed sales sharply lower in the most recent quarter.
The retailer said it expected sales to decline again in the current quarter and lowered its profit goal for the full year. Executives said they would still mark Pride Month next year but with a more focused assortment of merchandise.
“As we navigate an ever-changing operating and social environment, we are applying what we learned,” Brian Cornell, Target’s longtime chief executive, said on a call with reporters.
Meaningful? Only in that things are bad enough that Cornell is trying to reassure investors that the store is going to try to avoid future boycotts when it rolls out its sales. Is that sincere? No, but it telegraphs vulnerability, opens the door for activist investors and future boycotts.
In other words, Target is afraid. Doesn’t mean it’s going to abandon its leftist social agenda.
The company will shift how it sells Pride and other “heritage month collections” going forward, said Target Chief Growth Officer Christina Hennington on the call with reporters.
She said the company would have a slightly more focused assortment, adjust its store displays and reconsider the mix of brands it sells.
“You will see us celebrate Pride, you will see us celebrate these heritage moments, but with these modifications,” she said.
So maybe it won’t push chest binders for young girls until a few more years have passed and it thinks society has adjusted its social expectations accordingly downward? Probably. It might at least back away from transgender merchandise aimed at kids.
But this is a win. Conservative boycotts have been toothless for a while. But during an economic downturn, they’ve grown teeth.
This is a window when corporations can be hurt if they go woke. They know it. Now conservatives know it.