Target loses $9 billion amid Pride merchandising controversy
Target stock is experiencing its worst six-day stretch since the six days ending May 25, 2022
Target's stock value is taking a hit, leaving shareholders in the lurch as controversy continues to swirl over its Pride merchandising plans, as first reported by Fox News Digital.
Shares slipped another 1.6% on Thursday and have dropped more than 12.6% since the furor erupted a week ago Wednesday, as tracked by Dow Jones Market Data Group. That amounts to $9.3 billon in market value.
Shares have fallen for six consecutive days over that period, their longest losing streak since December 2022 and the worst six-day stretch since the six days ending May 25, 2022, when shares fell 27.34%.
Over the same time frame, the S&P 500 is little changed. Inquiries by FOX Business to Target on its stock selloff were not immediately returned.
"For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month," a company spokesperson told Fox News Digital. "Since introducing this year’s collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work. Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year."
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Adding fuel to the fire, the retailer's Gay Pride collection has been linked to a controversial designer: Abprallen's Erik Carnell, who is an outspoken Satanist whose brand features occult imagery and messages like "Satan respects pronouns" on brand apparel, Fox News Digital reported separately.
He is also known for aggressive messaging and phrases, including "Burn down the cis-tem," which have been featured on the website along with one that says "homophobe headrest" with an image of a guillotine.
Carnell explained in an Instagram post that Satan represents "passion, pride and liberty" and "loves all LGBT+ people."
Target is experiencing a similar ongoing trend at Anheuser-Busch following the Bud Light backlash after the brand sent transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney a personalized pack of beer with the influencer's likeness as part of an ad for the company's March Madness contest and to celebrate the year anniversary since Mulvaney began identifying as a woman.
Since March 30 through May 25, the Bud Light parent has lost $18.8 billion in market value with shares down more than 14%, as tracked by Dow Jones Market Data Group, as nationwide boycotts of the beer began and sales tanked. The S&P 500 has risen 2.5% over the same time period.
CEO Michel Doukeris attempted to distance the company from the campaign while also vowing to help distributors who bore the brunt of the financial outcry.
Now with Memorial Day weekend approaching, the company is attempting even more damage control. Fox News Digital reported that Bud Light revealed a new promotion called the US Budweiser Family Memorial Day Rebate online for customers from eligible states. The rebate promises an amount "equivalent to the purchase price of one (1) 15-pack or larger, up to $15" of Bud Light, Budweiser, Budweiser Select or Budweiser Select 55 paid via Anheuser-Busch Digital Prepaid Mastercard. Based on recent prices for Bud Light products, however, in some cases this would be giving packs of beer away for free.
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Several executives who created and launched the campaign have since been put on leave.
Fox News Digital's Brian Flood, Kristine Parks, Lindsay Kornick and Alexa Moutevelis contributed to this report.