May 28, 2023 | 13:01
Target has lost $1[ads1]0 billion in market value over the past 10 days, as the popular retailer continues to face backlash over its Pride-themed children’s clothing line.
A week ago Wednesday, Target’s stock value was enjoying $160.96 per share, but following calls to boycott the Minneapolis-based retailer over its “PRIDE” collection, the value fell and closed Friday at $138.93 per share.
The more than 22% drop in value for the blue chip stock roughly equates to a loss of $10.1 billion in value to just $64.2 billion for Target, which has nearly 2,000 stores nationwide.
The plunge stands as the retailer’s lowest share price in almost three years. The last time the company saw a drop nearly this big came in 2022 after shares leveled off after an unprecedented surge during the COVID pandemic.
Target, which has been caught in the middle of America’s culture wars over gender, moved its Pride section in some Southern stores away from the front last week after it said displays were knocked over by protesters, who also confronted workers.
The retailer also said it would remove items from the collection, but did not specify which ones. Among those that received the most attention were “tuck-friendly” swimsuits for women that allow trans women who have not had gender-affirming surgeries to hide their private parts, as well as rainbow-themed children’s clothing.
While many have compared the conservative boycott of Target to Bud Light — which saw sales crash after partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz doubted the pushback against the retailer would be as impactful.
In his podcast Friday, the Republican said that while there are several options to replace Anheuser-Busch’s brands, it’s not the same for Target.
He instead compared the retailer to Disney, which faced backlash after speaking out against Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law last year but remains a financial giant.
“You can get annoyed with Disney, but if your kids really want to go to Disney World, it can be hard to say no. There aren’t many options. There’s Six Flags, but Disney World is a pretty unique offering,” said Cruz.
“There is only one Snow White or Cinderella or Toy Story from Pixar. It is a difficult product for many people to give up permanently.”
The Texas politician said the effort against Target could quickly wither because “historically, conservatives typically haven’t been very good at boycotts.”
Target CEO Brian Cornell has defended the LBGTQ-friendly items, saying selling them was “the right thing for the community.”
Target did not immediately return a request for comment Sunday.