Target has lost $10 billion in market value in the past 10 days as the popular retailer continues to face setbacks in its Pride-themed clothing line for children.
A week ago on Wednesday, Target’s stock hit a high of $160.96, but following calls for the Minneapolis-based retailer to boycott its “PRIDE” collection, the stock fell to close at $138.93 a share on Friday.
A more than 22% drop in value for the blue-chip stock reduced an estimated $10.1 billion loss to just $64.2 billion for Target, which has nearly 2,000 stores nationwide.
The drop was the retailer’s lowest share price in nearly three years. The last time the company saw such a big drop was in 2022, when the stock leveled off following an unprecedented surge during the Covid pandemic.
Caught in the middle of America’s culture wars over gender, Target last week moved its Pride section from the front in some Southern stores.
The retailer also said it was removing items from the collection, but did not specify which ones. Among the most attention-grabbing are “duck-friendly” women’s swimsuits that allow trans people who don’t perform gender-affirming activities to cover their private parts, as well as rainbow-themed children’s clothing.
Many have compared the conservative boycott of Target to Bud Light — which saw sales decline after partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz doubted the backlash against the retailer would have an impact.
Speaking on his podcast Friday, the Republican said that while there are many alternatives to Anheuser-Busch’s brands, that’s not the case for Target.
Instead he compared the retailer to Disney, which faced backlash last year after speaking out against Florida’s “don’t say gay” law but continues to be a financial giant.
“You can be annoyed at Disney, but if your kids really want to go to Disney World, it’s hard to say no. There aren’t many alternatives. There are Six Flags, but Disney World is a unique offering,” Cruise said.
The Texas politician said the anti-Target efforts would soon fade away because “conservatives, historically, are generally not good at boycotts.”
Target CEO Brian Cornell supported it, saying that selling LBGTQ-friendly merchandise is “the right thing for society.”
Target did not immediately return a request for comment Sunday.