For the first time in quite awhile Minneapolis based Target has announced that they had a decrease in sales this last quarter.  They are not the only retailer to have this situation, and they have adjusted projections for the rest of the year.

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Why did this happen?  The obvious answer is inflation and the interest rates going up.  People are spending less, plus students are having to start paying on their student loans now that the pandemic moratorium has been lifted.  and they do think that it may have also been the backlash that they received over the PRIDE displays and products that were in the front of the store during June's Pride month.

From KARE 11:

Target faced a unique problem during the most recent quarter, becoming one of the companies that was targeted for its LGBTQ+ support, in particular, its display of Pride Month merchandise. It pulled some items in particular regions and made other changes after encountering hostility from some customers who confronted workers and tipped over displays. Company executives said this week that it couldn't tease out how much of an impact the negative reaction had on its business, but once it made the changes, those incidents subsided. Overall sales improved in July from June.

Whether or not that is actually the reason why their sales fell can't really be pinned down.  Other retailers had declining sales within that same time frame, and they didn't have any PRIDE products for sale.  So, it might be the reason, or it could be just a part of the reason.  Inflation seems like the most likely reason for the declining sales.

The Target stores that were MOST affected by the Pride backlash were in the Southern states.  Target says that they will still carry the products and support the LGBTQ+ and other communities, but they may rethink their marketing of these products.

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