Written by: Elena Cherubini
The American clothing giant Target is celebrating Pride despite an ongoing anti-LGBT boycott.
Last year more than a million people pledged to ‘boycott’ Target over its trans-inclusive bathroom policy, after a campaign from the anti-LGBT American Family Association.
The store had confirmed that transgender people could use the store’s bathroom corresponding with their gender identity no matter what was written in their documents.
Despite the boycott, which Target denies had a significant financial impact on the company, its Pride range relaunched this month.
With the hashtag #TakePride Target is promoting a line of rainbow-themed merchandise ahead of June’s Pride Month.
The line includes tee-shirts, swimsuits, flip-flops, headphones and iPhone cases, all featuring LGBT logos.
The store first launched its pride products in 2015 to show their support towards the LGBT community.
“We’re making our message loud and clear: Target proudly stands with the LGBT community, both as a team member and team player through all that we do,” said Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility officer.
The latest move has not impressed the activists who led the initial boycott.
A writer for anti-LGBT news site WorldNetDaily claimed: “Despite the drastic financial blowback Target Corporation has been weathering since announcing its plan last year to allow men to enter women’s bathroom facilities, the retail giant is continuing full-speed ahead in its pursuit of LGBT social activism.”
The scale of Target’s losses from the boycott are hotly disputed.
While Target’s stock value has tumbled by more than 35 percent since the boycott began, execs say nearly all of this is due to competition with Amazon and other online stores.
Evaluating the cost of the boycott specifically, Target execs asserted that the losses were not significant enough to be reported to the investors.
Despite the boycott, Target CEO, Brian Cornell said the store would keep implementing its inclusive policy.
He said: “We took a stance, and were going to continue to embrace our belief of diversity and inclusion and just how important that is to our company.”
“We had a lot of tough feedback,” Cornell added. “But sitting here today, I know we made the right decision.”
Target policy was criticised as anti-LGBT activists claimed it would allow paedophiles and sex offenders to freely enter the opposite-sex restroom.
Last August the store announced an investment of over $20 million to install single-stall bathrooms in all its stores.