The goal is to reconnect with Pride merchandise after backlash from the right

Aaron M. Sprecher/AP

The goal is to limit the number of stores selling Pride Month merchandise this year.

New York

The goal is to determine how many stores will sell LGBTQ-themed merchandise for Pride Month In June, after a boycott by right-wing activists last year, which negatively affected society The end result of the brand.

This year, Target He said It will only sell “adult apparel” and home goods bearing the pride logo “in select stores, based on historical sales performance” — a radical reversal for the chain that has typically sold items in many of its U.S. stores over the past decade.

About half of its 2,000 stores will sell the Pride collection, According to Bloomberg, which first reported the news. The assortment will also be sold at Target’s website.

A Target spokesperson said in a statement to CNN that it is “committed to supporting” the LGBTQ community during Pride Month, citing internal programming and attendance at local Pride events, including in its hometown of Minneapolis.

“More importantly, we want to create a welcoming and supportive environment for our LGBTQIA+ team members, which reflects our culture of care for the more than 400,000 people who work at Target,” the company said in a statement.

Neil Saunders, managing director of retail at GlobalData, told CNN that the changes are a “sensible approach.” But he warned, “It risks accusing Target of not being proud of Pride.”

“Unfortunately for Target, it’s been dragged into the culture wars and is in a position where it can’t win with anything it does,” he said.

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The Human Rights Campaign responded, issuing a statement saying that selling Pride merchandise “means something,” and since the LGBTQ community makes up 30% of Generation Z, the HRC said, “Businesses need to understand that community members and allies want companies to express full support.” to the community.”

“Target’s decision is disappointing and alienates LGBT individuals and allies that threatens not only their bottom lines but also their values,” said HRC President Kelly Robinson.

Last year, Target pulled Pride merchandise from some stores after the company and its employees became the focus of a “volatile” campaign against the LGBTQ community, which included threats against workers in its stores.

The company previously said to Wall Street Journal People confronted workers in stores, smashed displays of Pride merchandise and made threatening posts on social media with video from inside stores. Some people threw pride items on the ground.

Prominent right-wing activists, Republican political leaders, and conservative media have focused their attention on women’s swimwear, which has been described as “flex-friendly” for its ability to conceal male genitalia. Misinformation spread on social media that it was being marketed to children, which was not the case.

That, combined with weak demand for discretionary goods, caused Target’s quarterly sales to decline for the first time in six years during the quarter that included Pride collection sales.

A Target executive said on the earnings call that there had been a “strong reaction” to Pride merchandise and the reaction was “a signal for us to pause, adapt and learn.”

CNN’s Nathaniel Myerson contributed to this report.

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