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Target has appeared to double down on its acceptance of radical gender theory despite a second straight negative sales report following backlash to its Pride-themed products earlier this year.
Target reportedly selected a man named Erik Thompson as its Senior LGBTQIA+ Segmentation Strategist and Pride Lead, according to a post he shared on Instagram that was flagged by popular X account Libs of TikTok. Thompson, who goes by “gaycruella” on the social media platform, shared with followers that he was “honored” to accept the role.
“Time to whip out the Glitter & Hellfire flamethrowers and rip that old world to shreds darlings,” the self-described Target corporate employee shared. “Let’s flip that script and rewrite that narrative. This time for ~ALL Guests, ALL Humans & ALL Hearts.”
A post featuring Thompson’s announcement was shared on X, which prompted many to react to the news on the original post. One commenter asked, “lol you gonna make Targets sales tank too?” to which Thompson responded, “Yes. Yes I will make sales tank,” with heart and kissing emojis.
Remember when @Target sold tucking swimwear for kids and their sales dropped, stock plunged, and they were sued by shareholders?
Apparently they didn’t learn their lesson cuz they just hired an LGBTQ activist to lead their “LGBTQIA+ multicultural merchandising strategy and pride… pic.twitter.com/wDZW7hshKi
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) November 15, 2023
Thompson’s LinkedIn profile shows him as working for Target since June of 2014. During his tenure, he served the company as a business analyst and buyer in years past. He was also an executive intern at Target in 2013. Thompson listed his new role as becoming active in November 2023.
His LinkedIn bio says, “On a mission to lead in the effort of working to flip the script and rewrite the narrative of CPG retail industries to better serve all consumer segments and thoughtfully & authentically cater to *ALL guests, ALL humans, & ALL hearts* who enter our stores and across the nation.”
Target did not respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.
In Target’s third quarter — a three-month period that ended October 28 — the company’s sales tumbled 4.9% following a 5.4% decline in the second quarter, which was Target’s first quarterly sales drop in six years, CNN reported. Both of the most recent bleak earnings reports came after Target faced backlash over its Pride Month products geared toward children.
Target Chief Executive Brian Cornell said the sales trends “have clearly been tougher than we expected this year, and we are firmly focused on getting back to growth,” while discussing the third quarter earnings report on a call with reporters, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Among Target’s Pride-themed products featured on store shelves over the summer were a children’s swimsuit with a tag reading “thoughtfully fit on multiple body types and gender expressions” and LGBTQ-themed books such as “The Pronoun Book” and “Bye Bye Binary.” The retail giant also featured an adult “Pride” collection, which included “tuck-friendly” swimsuits for men who identify as women to tuck their genitals, a t-shirt with the words “Queer Queer Queer Queer,” and a hoodie reading “Not A Phase.”
Target came under fire again this week for selling Pride-themed nutcrackers and disabled Santa ornaments. The account End Wokeness shared images of an ornament of a black Santa Claus in a wheelchair displayed on a Target shelf. The account also highlighted a Pride nutcracker figurine wearing a Pride-striped hat and holding a Progress Pride flag. The product description encourages buyers to “show your love and support for the LGBTQIA+ community” by displaying this decoration. Both items are available for sale on Target’s website as of Wednesday.
Target outdid itself this year for Christmas pic.twitter.com/F0YpLmOrkt
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) November 15, 2023
Target isn’t the only company to report drops in sales this year following backlash to marketing campaigns that pushed radical gender theory. Earlier this month, Anheuser-Busch reported that its revenue in the U.S. was down 13.5% for the third quarter, continuing a trend in declining sales after Bud Light partnered earlier this year with transgender-identifying influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
As Black Friday approaches, Target hopes to turn its fledgling year around on the backs of holiday shoppers who will be looking everywhere for the best deals, but whether shoppers are willing to return to the retail giant after the Pride Month backlash earlier this year is yet to be seen.
The Daily Wire is also making its presence felt on the market this Black Friday as an alternative to the companies pushing leftist ideologies on consumers. Shoppers can find a slew of products from The Daily Wire, including deals on Jeremy’s Razors and the Daily Wire Shop to membership deals on The Daily Wire’s new kids entertainment company Bentkey.
Zach Jewell contributed to this report.