Target faces right-wing backlash over LGBTQ+ Christmas merchandise 

Target's LGBTQ+ themed Christmas merchandise.

Target is facing right-wing backlash again, this time over its inclusive Christmas merchandise, amid it appointing a Pride lead.

The US retail giant has hired a Pride lead to ensure Christmas has an LGBTQ+ spirit this year, despite the company making losses over its LGBTQ+ themed collection.

Erik Thompson, Target’s senior LGBTQIA+ segmentation strategist and Pride lead, announced in an Instagram post that he will be whipping out “glitter and hellfire” in his position with the company. 

But its decision to put inclusive Christmas products on shelves has sent right-wing campaigners into another boycotting frenzy. 

An account calling itself “End Wokeness” posted images of some of Target’s Christmas products including a nutcracker holding a Pride flag and a Santa Claus in a wheelchair. 

The post, captioned “Target outdid itself this year for Christmas”, has seen the right-wing community come together in the comments to call to boycott the company. 

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Anti-LGBTQ+ account Libs of TikTok has also hit out at the company, adding that “they didn’t learn their lesson” from backlash to its Pride-themed collection. 

Ahead of Pride month, Target released an LGBTQ+ themed collection which featured “tuck-friendly” swimming costumes, rainbow-themed accessories and slogan T-shirts created in collaboration with queer artists.

The inclusive collection received violent backlash from right-wing campaigners and in August its second-quarter earnings report showed a 5.4 per cent decrease in sales – the first drop in around six years. 

Its third quarter report revealed an additional 4.9 per cent drop, with Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell admitting sales “have clearly been tougher than we expected this year”. 

Target is one of the many brands right-wing campaigners have targeted this year, with others including Bud Light, due to it collaborating with trans social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney in a sponsored Instagram post, and Starbucks India because it related a trans-inclusive advert.