Target says Pride collection will appear in 'select' stores, cuts LGBTQ apparel for kids

Target will limit which stores sell LGBTQ-themed products following last year’s firestorm over its decision to sell products designed for transgender people.

The retailer said Thursday that it would be selling its Pride merchandise in a select number of its nearly 2,000 stores and on its website this year, citing “historical sales performance.” It added that in addition to selling LGBTQ-themed home and food and beverage items, apparel from its Pride collection this year will be tailored to adults. No Pride apparel for children will be sold.

The latest decision, first reported by Bloomberg News, represents a change from offering the products in all Target stores, as the company has done in previous years.

“Target is committed to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month and year-round,” a spokesperson for the company said in an email on Friday. “Most importantly, we want to create a welcoming and supportive environment for our LGBTQIA+ team members, which reflects our culture of care for the over 400,000 people who work at Target.”

“We have long offered benefits and resources for the community, and we will have internal programs to celebrate Pride 2024,” the spokesperson added.

Last year, Target was the focus of a social media-fueled boycott by some shoppers who disagreed with the retailer’s decision to sell swimsuits for trans people, with many individuals falsely accusing the retailer of selling them to children. The retailer’s Pride-themed clothing for children included apparel with supportive slogans such as “Just be you” and “Trans people will always exist!”

Target has spent the better part of a decade publicly supporting the LGBTQ movement following a controversy involving its CEO’s donation in 2010 to a group that supported a gubernatorial candidate who opposed gay marriage.

But last year’s backlash resulted in the company pulling trans-oriented products from its shelves amid scenes of store employees being harassed by customers.

Target was also falsely accused of selling “satanic” children’s clothes, further alienating some conservative shoppers.

Some conservatives celebrated the company’s announcement to dial back this year’s collection.

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