Target removing some LGBTQ merchandise following customer backlash

Target, one of the largest retailers in the US, has been celebrating Pride month for more than a decade. But this year, its Pride collection has sparked controversy and anger among some customers, who have threatened and harassed its workers over some of the products.

In this blog post, I’m going to explain what happened, why Target decided to remove some LGBTQ merchandise from its stores and website, and what this means for the LGBTQ community and its allies.

What was the problem with Target’s Pride collection?

Target launched its Pride collection at the start of May, offering more than 2,000 products, including clothing, books, music and home furnishings. The items included “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”.

While many customers appreciated Target’s support for the LGBTQ community, some others were outraged by what they perceived as an attempt to indoctrinate children and promote an agenda that goes against their values and beliefs.

Some of these customers took to social media to express their displeasure and call for a boycott of Target. Others went further and confronted Target employees in stores, throwing Pride merchandise on the floor, shouting insults and even making violent threats.

How did Target respond to the backlash?

Target said that it received feedback from customers across the spectrum, and that while some were constructive, others were confrontational and impacted its workers’ sense of safety and well-being.

As a result, Target decided to make some adjustments to its plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.

The only products that Target confirmed it was pulling are from the LGBTQ brand Abprallen, which has come under scrutiny for its association with British designer Eric Carnell. Carnell has faced social media backlash for designing merchandise with images of pentagrams, horned skulls and other Satanic products.

Target also said it was reviewing certain transgender swimsuits and children’s merchandise, but no decision on those products has yet been made.

What are the implications of Target’s decision?

Target’s decision to remove some LGBTQ merchandise from its stores ahead of June Pride month has drawn mixed reactions from the LGBTQ community and its allies.

Some have praised Target for standing up for its workers’ safety and well-being, and for continuing to offer a wide range of Pride products that celebrate diversity and inclusion.

Others have criticized Target for caving in to pressure from conservative groups and individuals, and for sending a message that LGBTQ rights and representation are negotiable and subject to backlash.

Some queer activists have also questioned Target’s choice of partnering with Abprallen in the first place, saying that the brand does not reflect the values and interests of the LGBTQ community.


Target’s removal of some LGBTQ merchandise from its stores following customer backlash is a controversial move that highlights the challenges and opportunities of marketing to diverse audiences.

As a marketer, you need to be aware of the trends and topics that resonate with your target audience, but also be prepared to face criticism and backlash from those who disagree with your message or product.

You also need to balance your business goals with your social responsibility, and consider how your actions affect not only your customers but also your employees and partners.

If you want to learn more about how to optimize your content for Google Search viral, check out my website, where I share tips and tricks on SEO, content marketing, social media marketing and more.

What do you think?

Written by John Wich

John Wich is a skilled news writer dedicated to delivering informative and captivating stories to readers. With a passion for uncovering the truth, John's writing reflects his commitment to accuracy and engaging storytelling. His expertise in journalism ensures that he provides valuable insights on a wide range of topics.

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