After making a bold decision to place Pride merchandise in their chain of stores, Target’s stock value is taking a crucial hit and leaving shareholders in the lurch.
Shares slipped another 1.6% on Thursday and have dropped more than 12.6% since the furor erupted a week ago Wednesday, as tracked by Dow Jones Market Data Group. That amounts to $9.3 billon in market value.
Shares have fallen for six consecutive days over that period, their longest losing streak since December 2022 and the worst six-day stretch since the six days ending May 25, 2022, when shares fell 27.34%.
Over the same time frame, the S&P 500 is little changed. Inquiries to Target on its stock selloff were not immediately answered.
“For over a decade, Target has been known to offer consumers an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month,” said a company spokesperson for Target. “Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work. 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. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.”
Adding fuel to the fire, the retailer’s Gay Pride collection has been linked to a controversial designer: Abprallen’s Erik Carnell, who is an outspoken Satanist whose brand features occult imagery and messages like “Satan respects pronouns” on brand apparel.
Carnell is also well known for aggressive messaging and phrases, such as; “Burn down the cis-tem,” which have been featured on the website along with one that says “homophobe headrest” with an image of a guillotine.
The designer explained on Instagram that Satan represents “passion, pride, and liberty” and loves all LGBT+ people.
Target’s crisis is similar to what Anheuser-Busch faced after letting transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney feature himself on packs of Bud Light beer. The images on the beer with the influencer’s likeness was part of and ad contest for March Madness and to celebrate the year anniversary since Mulvaney started identifying as a woman.
Since March 30 through May 25, the Bud Light parent has lost $18.8 billion in market value with shares down more than 14%, as tracked by Dow Jones Market Data Group, as nationwide boycotts of the beer began and sales tanked. The S&P 500 has risen 2.5% over the same time period.
CEO Michel Doukeris attempted to distance the company from the campaign while also vowing to help distributors who bore the brunt of the financial outcry.
Now with Memorial Day weekend approaching, the company is attempting even more damage control. It was revealed that Bud Light has a new promotion called the US Budweiser Family Memorial Day Rebate online for customers from eligible states. The rebate promises an amount “equivalent to the purchase price of one (1) 15-pack or larger, up to $15” of Bud Light, Budweiser, Budweiser Select or Budweiser Select 55 paid via Anheuser-Busch Digital Prepaid Mastercard. Based on recent prices for Bud Light products, however, in some cases this would be giving packs of beer away for free.
Several executives who created and launched the campaign have since been put on leave.
I hope that the CEOs of these big corporations take note that Americans will no longer condone attacks on traditional family values! Look at what has happened to companies like Disney, Starbucks & Panera. Their stock prices are practically worthless because they don’t respect their customers who have conservative values! If it were up to companies like these, every child would identify as a Furry & there’d be a litter box in every classroom! Disgraceful!