Target has lost $10 billion in market valuation over the last 10 days as the popular retailer continues to face backlash over its Pride-themed clothing line for children.
A week ago Wednesday, Target enjoyed its stock value at $160.96 a share, but following the calls to boycott the Minneapolis-based retailer over its “PRIDE” collection, the value plummeted and closed Friday at $138.93 a share.
The more than 22% drop in value for the blue chip stock roughly translates to a $10.1 billion loss in valuation to just $64.2 billion for Target, which has nearly 2,000 stores nationwide.
The plummet stands as the retailer’s lowest stock price in nearly three years. The last time the company saw a drop nearly this big came in 2022 after the stocks equalized following an unprecedented surge during the COVID pandemic.
Target, which has been caught in the middle of America’s culture wars over gender, moved its Pride section in some Southern stores away from the front last week after it said displays were knocked over by protesters, who also confronted workers.
The retailer also said it would remove items from the collection, but did not specify which ones. Among the ones that garnered the most attention were “tuck-friendly” women’s swimsuits that allow trans women who have not had gender-affirming operations to conceal their private parts, as well as rainbow-themed children’s clothing.
While many have likened the conservative boycott against Target to that of Bud Light – which saw sales crash after partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney – Texas Sen. Ted Cruz doubted the backlash against the retailer would be as impactful.
Speaking on his podcast Friday, the Republican said that while multiple alternatives exist to replace Anheuser-Busch’s brands, the same is not so for Target.
He instead compared the retailer to Disney, which suffered backlash after speaking out against Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law last year, but continues to be a financial giant.
“You can be annoyed at Disney but if your kids really want to go to Disney World, that can be hard to say no to. There are not a lot of alternatives. There’s Six Flags but Disney World is a pretty unique offering,” Cruz said.
The Texas politician said the efforts against Target could quickly wilt because “historically, conservatives have typically been not very good at boycotts.”
Target CEO Brian Cornell has defended the LBGTQ-friendly merchandise, saying selling them was “the right thing for society.”
Target didn’t immediately return a request for comment Sunday.
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