May 30, 2024

(Reuters) — Target is planning to cut LGBTQ-themed merchandise from some of its stores during Pride Month this June, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, after a backlash hit sales of the retailer last year.

Target plans to offer the full assortment of the merchandise online but is examining store-level data to decide which physical locations will carry the products, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Target’s quarterly sales fell last year in part thanks to a consumer backlash from the sale of Pride Month merchandise. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Scott Olson via Getty Images)

Target is likely to stock the products in about half of its nearly 2,000 stores in the U.S., the report said.

The move comes after Target was forced to remove some items, including certain transgender swimsuits, from its LGBTQ+ themed collection last year after facing customer backlash and confrontations between customers and employees in some stores. Target blamed the backlash in part for a drop in its sales in its second quarter last year.

On Thursday, a Target spokesperson said it was committed to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month, which is celebrated in June, and year-round.

The Minneapolis-based retailer will maintain a presence at local Pride events in Minneapolis and around the country, and would offer a collection of products for Pride month “curated based on guest insights and consumer research,” in select stores and online, the spokesperson added.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai and Diane Craft)