By Laurel Duggan
Target’s market value plunged $9 billion in one week after anger erupted over the store’s new “PRIDE” collection, which features clothing for children and babies as well as a chest-binding swim top and a “tuck-friendly” women’s bathing suit.
Social media users and conservative activists began calling for boycotts of Target following the release of their PRIDE line last week. The company was valued at $160.96 per share on May 17, at a market value of $74.3 billion; as of Thursday morning each share was valued at $139.84, the lowest in over a year, at a market value of $64.54 billion, according to MarketWatch data.
An adult bikini top available on Target’s website advertises a “light binding effect.” Another women’s swimsuit offered “tuck-friendly” coverage, and some children’s swimsuits advertised being “Thoughtfully Fit on Multiple Body Types and Gender Expressions,” according to The Associated Press.
Target removed some PRIDE items from stores following public outcry, claiming the move was in response to “confrontational behavior” from shoppers. The decision drew a fresh round of blowback, this time from LGBT activists who characterized the move as a failure to stand up for gay and transgender people.
“Target should put the products back on the shelves and ensure their Pride displays are visible on the floors, not pushed into the proverbial closet,” Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson said, according to the AP. “That’s what the bullies want.”
Target was previously subject to widespread protests in 2017 following the company’s decision to allow transgender individuals to use the restroom of their choice, according to The Wall Street Journal. More than 1.3 million people signed an online petition calling for a boycott of the retail giant, the store saw its first decline in same-store sales in two years and ended up spending $20 million building single-sex bathrooms in all of its stores in response to complaints about privacy.
Target did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.