In a recent response to the ongoing boycott of Target due to their offering of LGBT-oriented apparel for children, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) expressed his skepticism on whether the boycott could be sustained.
This skepticism comes amidst reports indicating that the firm has suffered a significant market value drop of around $10 billion.
Bud Light and Target boycotts are different – Cruz
Cruz drew a comparison to Bud Light’s experience, saying, “What really came to bite Bud Light is that wasn’t a hard boycott. It’s difficult for nobody on planet Earth if you were going to order a Bud Light to say, ‘I’ll have a Coors Light.’ That’s a very simple substitution.”
Applying this analogy to Target, he questioned the ease and longevity of the boycott, given the accessibility of Target stores and the convenience it offers many shoppers.
Cruz further commented, “I will say Targets are located in a lot of areas and very convenient for a lot of shoppers. So we’ll see if this becomes a persistent consequence or not,”
Furthermore, he shared his observation that conservatives have usually not been very successful with boycotts.
Supporting his point, Cruz mentioned the backlash and subsequent boycotts of the NFL and the NBA due to the adoption of Black Lives Matter-style slogans and some players kneeling during the national anthem.
These boycotts, however, lost steam as people were unwilling to give up the excitement of cheering on their favorite sports teams.
Disney boycott ran out of steam
Disney was another corporation that faced a conservative-led boycott following its criticism of a bill backed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. This bill prohibited teachers from instructing on sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten to third grade.
Yet, the boycott had a limited impact due to Disney’s unique offerings and the lack of alternatives, as explained by Cruz.
Highlighting the unique situation, Target finds itself in, Brayden King, a professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, said, “Target, as Ted Cruz said, is not just a product that you’re buying. It’s a place where you’re shopping and buying lots of different products”.
“Many consumers just don’t have other options to go to besides Target.”
Target’s stock took a hit when the boycott started, dropping from $160.96 a share to $138.93 per share, indicating a valuation loss of $10.1 billion, according to an analysis by the New York Post.
The boycott was triggered by the company selling “PRIDE” clothing for children, including newborns. Conservative commentators and Republican lawmakers have been vocal critics, including Candace Owens, who stated, “Target has been an openly perverted company for a long time – many million times worse than Bud Light and worthy of being boycotted out of existence.”
Target responds to allegations and threats
In response to these allegations, Target announced that it would relocate some of the controversial items to other parts of its stores. Furthermore, it claimed its employees and locations were under threat.
Included in the criticized collection were infant products like onesies with pro-LGBT slogans and designs, such as the text “Bien Proud,” and images that included LGBT rainbows, hearts, and transgender flag colors.
In addition to clothing, Target also stocks child-oriented LGBT books in its inventory, which includes titles like “Bye Bye, Binary” and “What Are Your Words?”
These controversies have made Target a focal point in the ongoing discourse over LGBT rights and children’s education. Whether the company can weather this storm and whether the boycott will have a lasting impact remains to be seen.