Target CEO Admits Pride Backlash Hurt Company

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After its pride Monty controversy, the retail giant Target has reported a second-quarter decline in sales for the first time in six years. According to CBN News, consumer backlash of Target’s LGBT displays and merchandise has led to consequences for the highly popular company. On Wednesday, Target shared that they expect sales to decline for the rest of 2023.

On a call with reporters, Target CEO Brian Cornell admitted that the backlash against Target’s LGBT pride collection negatively impacted their sales. Cornell told Fox Business that the company is trying to apply what they learned from the reactions as they “navigate an ever-changing operating and social environment.” 


Cornell also blamed Target’s poor sales report on people spending more money on experiences such as travel, leisure, entertainment, and dining out after the pandemic kept so many people stuck indoors. He also blamed inflation for causing sales to slump. 

Safety incidents have been another issue in Target, Cornell added, noting that retail crime, especially theft involving violence or threats of violence, has caused a decline in sales.


Still, Pride was recognized as a factor by Cornell and by Christina Hennington, Target’s chief growth officer. Speaking of the customer backlash for the LGBT displays and merchandise, Hennington said, “The reaction is a signal for us to pause, adapt, and learn.” 

According to Fox Business, “since rolling out its Pride collection, Target’s market value has plunged from $74 billion down to $57.7 billion.” Although Cornell said that the company has learned from the backlash, they plan to continue celebrating Pride month and other “heritage moments” out of their “commitment to support a diverse team and guests.”

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