The retail giant's losses over the past couple of weeks have swelled to over $12.4 billion as backlash grows over its decision to sell Pride merchandise to children.
According to Fox Business, Target's market value has been in freefall since mid-May, going from $74 billion to nearly $62 billion in just two weeks.
Target's financial hardships have come amid growing calls to boycott the stores after it was revealed that a selection of LGBTQ-themed clothing and accessories had been made available to children.
As the backlash grew, Target reportedly held "emergency" calls with a number of managers and district senior directors, instructing them to scale down stores' displays of Pride-related merchandise to avoid a "Bud Light situation."
It was later revealed that Target told its employees that those who worry about the sexualization of children are "extremists."
In the internal memo, titled "Threat Overview," the company stated that "as political and social tensions rise ahead of the 2024 presidential election, Target will face a continued increase of physical security threats related to our commitments on contentious social issues including support of the LGBTQIA+ community and Pride Month."
It went on to suggest that the Pride collections "have the potential to motivate extremists to violence."
The boycott has been compared to that of Bud Light, however many, including Tim Pool, have pointed out that whereas the beer giant fell victim to coordinated campaigns by big-name influencers, Target is organically losing regular customers.
"I don't think conservatives actually boycotted Target," Pool said. "I think regular people got pissed ... I think regular people walked into Target and went 'yo, WTF. I got my kids with me, I don't want them seeing this stuff.'"
He suggested the backlash grew from the ground up, with Target only responding after ordinary customers posted videos of the products, which included a "tuck-friendly" swimsuit and a line catered towards children and babies.
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