Target selling Pride Month merchandise online and in ‘select stores’ after pushback

Target said Friday that it will only carry Pride Month merchandise online and in “select stores” this year after experiencing backlash over last year’s designs.

In a statement to The Hill, Target said it will offer a collection of products for Pride, including “adult apparel, home products, and food and beverage, which has been curated based on guest insights and consumer research.”

The collection will be available on and in select stores, “based on historical sales performance,” the company said in a memo. The company said it’s committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community during June, which is Pride Month, and year-round.

Target removed certain items from its shelves after receiving intense backlash from customers, and several bomb threats, over the merchandise.

The company was criticized for carrying “tuck friendly” women’s swimsuits that allow trans women who have not had gender-affirming surgery to conceal their private parts, The Associated Press reported last year.

Several Southern stores moved the collections to the back after shoppers confronted the retailer about it.

Then, Target received backlash from customers who were upset about the moves, arguing that the company gave into the anti-LGBTQ groups opposed to the clothing.

The debacle is the latest example of how companies struggle to cater to multiple groups during extreme division, the AP noted, like the Bud Light boycott last year.

In a statement, Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson said Pride merchandise means something.

“Target’s decision is disappointing and alienates LGBTQ+ individuals and allies at the risk of not only their bottom line but also their values,” Robinson said.

Robinson said 30 percent of Gen Z identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community, and they live in every U.S. ZIP code.

She said they aren’t going anywhere, and “companies need to understand that community members and allies want businesses that express full-hearted support for the community.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.