On Thursday, an uncovered email sent out to all Target employees was leaked. After losing $9 billion due to their “Pride” fiasco, the juggernaut company is now even more laughable. The controversy emerged when Target introduced its “PRIDE” collection, featuring LGBTQ-friendly clothing for children, in anticipation of Pride Month in June.
The release garnered major backlash, leading to heated confrontations in stores and the dissemination of threats on social media. However, the retail store went full cringe when they felt the need to mention George Floyd in a letter addressed to their employees, as they expressed sorrow for what they’ve had to endure. Oh the hypocrisy…
Yesterday was a very hard day for Target, and as CEO Brian Cornell said, thank you for the care you’ve shown each other, our frontline teams and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Today brings more reflection, pain and the need for continued care as our team, hometown and world remember the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. As you make space to take care of yourself and each other. know that you can always tap into these tools from Team Member Life Resources, and as Mental Health Awareness Month continues, turn to the Take Five to Take Care hub for more well-being support.
BREAKING: I have obtained the internal email that @Target sent to their employees following the Pride month disaster that has caused them to lose $9B in one week, where is goes from standing with the "LGBTQIA+ community" to the anniversary of George Floyd lmfao. pic.twitter.com/GQVgrdmHDv
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 25, 2023
While trying to overkill its customers with social activism, Target seems to have lost sight of the primary purpose of a business: to serve its customers and generate profit. The company’s costly misstep point out the importance of maintaining a clear business strategy that doesn’t sacrifice financial stability.
The company lost $9 billion in market value and their stock, which was valued at $160.96 per share a week ago, plummeted to $141.76 on Thursday, marking a 12% reduction in its overall market capitalization.
In response to mounting pressure, Target made an announcement on Tuesday outlining measures to address the situation. The company stated that it would be removing certain items from its stores and relocating its Pride merchandise from prominent displays to less conspicuous areas in select Southern stores.
An insider reported that some stores, primarily in rural southern areas, were moving their Pride sections to smaller, less visible locations. The rush to minimize the Pride sections came following “emergency” calls and the insider likened the response to the fear of a “Bud Light situation”.
In addition to product relocation, the focus of the call was on how to ensure the safety of Target employees amid the backlash. The change was confirmed at rural outlets in South Carolina, Arkansas, and Georgia, but most regular employees were not informed in advance.
Target cited threats that were affecting the well-being and sense of safety of its team members as the rationale behind these changes. The current predicament continues to draw parallels to Bud Light’s recent decline in sales, which followed a controversial marketing campaign involving a transgender social media influencer.