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Go Woke, Go Broke: Target Restrategizes 2024 Pride Merch

After nationwide backlash, Target is taking a more cautious approach to their 2024 Pride collection, this time aiming it toward adults only.

This year’s Pride Month at Target is unfolding with unexpected restraint. After a challenging year in the stock market, Target, a company that once prided itself on its transgender product line for children, declaring it “great for our brand,” has made a dramatic pivot. This shift is the latest testament to the growing power of consumer activism, vividly illustrating the adage “go woke, go broke.

Target CEO Brian Cornell, who once showcased chest binders and tucking swimsuits for children as markers of “progress,” faced the music by late last summer. Following a particularly dismal financial performance in August, he stopped short of apologizing but acknowledged the need for reflection. As Target’s earnings plummeted, Cornell signaled impending changes.

What Cornell learned is that catering to woke activism is a direct path to financial disaster. His initial defiance during the holiday shopping season, which filled shelves with overt LGBTQ promotions, finally met with the hefty price of consumer discontent. This response mirrored the backlash faced by other corporate giants like Anheuser-Busch, Nike, and Disney, all of whom watched their customers flee in search of less politicized shopping environments.

In the face of mounting public pressure, Target has wisely decided to curb its Pride products. This year, the retailer has confined its LGBTQ merchandise primarily to adult consumers—a prudent step detailed on its website. It’s quite telling that it required a nationwide backlash against such controversial items as chest binders and tucking swimsuits for children for Target to recognize the profound inappropriateness of its offerings. These items catered to a divisive, woke agenda that many Americans found deeply troubling. This adjustment by Target is a clear concession to the values of the broader consumer base, signaling a potential shift away from the radical policies that have alienated so many of its shoppers.

Ultimately, the decision by Target to recalibrate its Pride Month strategy reflects a broader cultural pushback against the imposition of politicized agendas in consumer spaces. It’s a reminder to corporations that their primary role is to serve customers, not indoctrinate them. This saga at Target underscores a critical lesson: when consumers speak with their wallets, even the largest corporations must listen—and that’s a principle that transcends mere profit, touching the very essence of democratic capitalism.

Robert Chernin

Robert Chernin

Robert B. Chernin has brought his years of political consulting and commentary back to radio. As a longtime entrepreneur, business leader, fundraiser and political confidant, Robert has a unique perspective with insights not heard anyway else. Robert has consulted on federal and statewide campaigns at the gubernatorial, congressional, senatorial, and presidential level. He served in leadership roles in the presidential campaigns of President George W. Bush as well as McCain for President. He led Florida’s Victory 2004’s national Jewish outreach operations as Executive Director. In addition, he served on the President’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Robert co-founded and served as president of the Electoral Science Institute, a non-profit organization that utilizes behavioral science to increase voter participation and awareness. Robert can be heard on multiple radio stations and viewed on the “Of the People” podcast where you get your podcasts.