The latest big corp to feel the pain of going woke and going broke? Mega-retailer Target.
Monday saw the giant post its first quarterly sales drop in six years, after customers revolted when Target went all-in on woke merchandise for Pride Month — including LGBTQ-themed gear for babies and “tuck-friendly” swimsuits for trans women and even, it seemed to many, for kids.
All that junk got yanked after consumers protested. But the damage was done.
Target knows it messed up big-time, too: “Traffic and top line trends were affected by the reaction to our Pride assortment,” said CFO Michael Fiddelke.
Sales at stores and digital channels open for at least a year were down 5.4%. E-commerce sales saw nearly twice that drop, 10.5%.
Share price is down as well, almost 18% so far this year.
What’s truly bizarre is that Target followed its Pride plan after the Bud Light Dylan Mulvaney disaster.
I.e., its execs knew that consumers were fed up with ideology being rammed down their throats and willing to take their dollars elsewhere and make noise about their dissatisfaction — and went ahead anyway.
If Bud Light is any example, Target’s in for rough times ahead.
Especially because it’s not yet clear that the company’s top brass have gotten the lesson.
CEO Brian Cornell says Target will be “mindful of timing, placement and presentation” when it comes to future displays of woke Pride merchandise.
So: More of the same, we’ll just try to hide it.
Such corporate commitment to virtue-signaling aimed at a tiny slice of the overall buying populace is just nuts.
Shoppers don’t want to be bombarded with politics — of any kind! — when trying to find some new t-shirts for their kid or a cold six-pack of a crisp and refreshing domestic lager.
How much more economic damage is it going to take before companies figure this out?