How a Swim Suit Led to Protests and Threats

Target’s newest marketing move leaves many disgusted with the company

Jade M.


Photo by Ozan Çulha:

With viral products such as miniature shopping carts and ugly prairie dresses, it seemed like Target had the perfect marketing strategy. They marketed themselves as the store you could visit as part of your self-care routine and were often considered classier than Wal-Mart. Unfortunately for Target, that all ended with the introduction of their 2023 pride line.

Videos surfaced of Target guests voicing displeasure about the merchandise. Infant onesies and swimwear that were described as ‘tuck friendly with a light binding effect’ were at the center of these complaints. Many guests stated that they would boycott the company. Some took it a step further and questioned employees about the merchandise or even damaged pride displays.

Target responded by pulling some items and moving most pride sections to the rear of the store. The CEO, Brain Cornell also released a statement claiming that Target had moved and pulled the items to increase safety within the store. This was a move that some employees disagreed with, many stating that they no longer felt safe or supported by the company that they worked for.

After the pride merchandise was pulled, several Target employees have stated that guests began mistreating them or asking about the pulled items. Several locations even received a bomb threat via email.

Employees flocked to the Target subreddit to voice their opinions about safety and the pulled merch. The employees are also sharing their thoughts on Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell, with many posting memes depicting him as spineless.

Some employees and guests are applauding the decision to remove the pride collection due to fear of violence.

Whatever your stance on the pulled items, it’s clear to see that Target has angered and alienated both their conservative and LGBT customers. It’s also worth noting that the move comes after many employees received raises that were less than they had hoped, with many only receiving 8 to 10 cents.

What do you think? Should Target have pulled the Pride merchandise? Should they have carried it in the first place? Leave your comments below.



Jade M.

Jade is a Louisiana based author who loves video games and usually writes about experiences she has.