Target in a panic over LGBT merchandise outraging customers —reports

You'd think Target would have learned its lesson.

Back in 2006, I wrote an editorial at Investor's Business Daily criticizing its wokester Che Guevara merchandise selection, prompting the company to pull the merchandise nationally.

The Reuters photo of what happened is here. UPDATE: and its story is here.

If that wasn't enough for them, and the old corporate memory is gone, there are numerous cases of "go woke, go broke" among other corporations that tried to foist woke merchandise on the public, culminating in the Bud Light fiasco, which could have reminded them. 

Or they could have checked out what was left on the Target clearance shelves of Christmas merchandise marked down 90% and still not selling — as my photo of the leftover gift wrap on Target Kearny Mesa in San Diego's store shelves shows:

Image: Monica Showalter.

But noooo. They've learned nothing.

Now they're in a panic.

According to Fox News:

A Target insider said there were "emergency" calls on Friday and that some managers and district senior directors were told to tamp down the Pride sections immediately.

"We were given 36 hours, told to take all of our Pride stuff, the entire section, and move it into a section that’s a third the size. From the front of the store to the back of the store, you can’t have anything on mannequins and no large signage," the Target insider said.

"We call our customers ‘guests,’ there is outrage on their part. This year, it is just exponentially more than any other year," the Target insider continued. "I think given the current situation with Bud Light, the company is terrified of a Bud Light situation."

The insider, who has worked at the retailer for almost two decades, said Target rarely makes such hasty decisions. They said Friday’s call began with roughly 10 minutes on "how to deal with team member safety" because of the amount of backlash the Pride merchandise has generated, noting that Target Asset Protect & Corporate Security teams were present on the call.

Now they're pulling merchandise, according to Reuters:

NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) — Target, which rolled out its Pride Collection at the start of May, is pulling some products from its stores after facing customer backlash, saying it was acting to protect employee safety, the company told Reuters on Tuesday.

Target Corp (TGT.N) is offering more than 2,000 products, including clothing, books, music and home furnishings as part of its Pride Collection. The items include "gender fluid" mugs, "queer all year" calendars and books for children aged 2-8 titled "Bye Bye, Binary," "Pride 1,2,3" and "I'm not a girl."

"Since introducing this year's collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members' sense of safety and wellbeing while at work," Target said in a statement.

"Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior," the Minneapolis-based retailer said.

Fact is, not everyone wants woke merchandise, and many don't want what they perceive as the gay agenda constantly pushed in their faces, as if the group merits special treatment.  While gay-themed merchandise has been around for years and is eminently recognizable as a result (with no problems, actually), there seems to be a reaction against continuously putting it front and center, seemingly all the time.  Meanwhile, other customers are against the transgender agenda, given the recent mass shooting in Tennessee, the issues surrounding women's right to privacy, and the end of women's competitive sports. 

Now that customers have learned the power of their boycott — for example, in the case of Bud Light, which featured an ad by a transgender activist whose shtick is mocking women as flimsy 1950s-style ditzes — they very well may be ready to act again to send the same message to Target, and Target now knows it. 

Target, like other corporate entities, is likely under pressure from wokester groups such as the Human Rights Campaign's "Corporate Equality Index," which has pushed many corporations to actively promote the LGBT agenda or risk a bad rating.

But it's also hearing from customers, who buy goods from it, generating profits, and the company knows which side its bread is buttered on.

What's obnoxious here is that it's citing "safety" as its reason for pulling the merchandise, as if customers who simply don't want to buy the merchandise and quite possibly don't want to even go into the stores to see it in front of them as they enter are violent.  That's weird stuff coming from them, given that they've seen what real violence is like in San Francisco, when they were forced to shut one of their downtown stores, not citing that, but claiming that its sales were "underperforming."  Whole Foods, which is the next street over in that city, shut its flagship, openly citing violence against its customers and employees in the area. 

But any customer who chooses not to shop at Target because its product line does not match his values is somehow violent, a domestic terrorist, all the things Joe Biden's administration claims is the "real" threat to America, and pay no attention to that mass shooting in Tennessee.

That basically insults the customers even as it purports to bow to their wishes, which isn't how you bring customers back into the establishment.

The Fox report, citing panic among the Target honchos fearing a new "Bud Light situation," pretty well tells the story.  Customers have learned that they can boycott wokester companies that can't keep politics out of their product lines, and their boycotts will have an impact.  Insulting them for that by calling them violent isn't going to help things for the wokester company, no matter how much merchandise it pulls.

The inherent problem of the Bud Light ad is not that it was transgender, but that it was perceived as insulting to everyone else.  The ad portrayed women as ditzes and presented a spokesperson as someone who doesn't know much about sports.  This didn't flatter Bud Light customers, who then began their boycott.  Had the company, as one Twitter observer noted, presented an ad of a nervous transgender man arriving for his first day at work at an auto plant and being embraced by coworkers over Bud Light, the ad would have been transgender-oriented but not insulting.

Target's "violence" claim against people who simply don't want to buy baby swimsuits that "tuck," or shop at stores with huge LGBT store displays, pretty well insults them in the same way.  That makes Target quite a candidate for another "Bud Light situation."  They could have fixed this by moving or pulling the merchandise, but they couldn't keep their mouths shut to avoid insulting their customers.

Image: Wikiboy06 via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 4.0.

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