Target, the Minneapolis-based retail giant, has experienced a massive $9 billion decline in market value following a public outcry over its transgender clothing line for children and toddlers. Angry social media users called for a boycott, leading to a significant reduction in Target’s market capitalization.
I've obtained an EXCLUSIVE internal email from a TARGET LEADERSHIP to management.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) May 25, 2023
Just a week ago, Target’s stock closed at $160.96 per share, resulting in a market capitalization of $74.3 billion. However, early trading on Thursday witnessed a 1% drop, with shares trading at $141.76. This week-long decline has caused Target’s value to plummet to $65.3 billion, marking a substantial 12% decrease and a staggering $9 billion loss in market capital.
In response to the intense uproar, Target announced plans to remove certain items from its stores and make changes to its LGBTQ+ merchandise nationwide. The company cited threats against its team members’ safety and well-being as the reason behind these adjustments.
Although Target did not specify the exact items being removed, the controversy is primarily centered around “tuck-friendly” swimsuits for young children, to “allow kids who haven’t undergone gender-affirming procedures to conceal certain private parts.”
CEO, Brian Cornell, initially defended the LGBTQ+-friendly merchandise, stating it aligned with the company’s values. However, the unexpected backlash forced Target to modify its plans and address the issue.
Target confirmed it had relocated its Pride collection from prominent store positions to less visible areas, aiming to reduce tensions. The $9 billion loss in market value showcases the power of public sentiment and its influence on even the largest retailers.
Target’s response also reflects the importance of considering market dynamics in a highly competitive industry. Despite the significant financial setback, the company still seeks to strike a balance between its commitment to woke ideology and addressing customer concerns.
The incident drew comparisons to Bud Light, which faced declining sales after a controversial marketing campaign featuring Dylan Mulvaney, a cross-dressing social media influencer. As Target strives to regain trust and restore its market value, it serves as a stark reminder that companies going woke usually go broke.