The retail chain Target saw a significant decline in sales following its controversial Pride Collection products and displays. The company received significant criticism after it partnered with a designer that marketed a number of Satanic and occult-themed merchandise.
Target announced this week that it saw its first quarterly decline in sales in six years. According to the retailer, its overall sales declined by 5.4% in its second quarter as compared to last year.
Its online sales faced an even steeper decline, falling by 10.5%. Target also reported that foot traffic in its stores fell by almost 5%.
Target’s Chief Financial Officer Michael Fiddelke said that “traffic and top-line trends were affected by the reaction to our pride assortment, which launched in the middle of May.”
Target’s chief growth officer Christina Hennington said that the recent data “is a signal for us to pause, adapt and learn so that our future approach to these moments balances celebration, inclusivity and broad-based appeal.”
Ironically, a reduction in freight and supply costs and increases in the company’s prices resulted in higher-than-expected earnings per share. However, the company is projecting lower profit by the end of the year than earlier estimates.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 16, 2023
The company has faced a widespread consumer backlash since earlier this year over a number of products for children as part of its Pride Collection. It also featured a number of other LGBT-themed products, including ‘tuck-friendly’ swimsuits.
The retail giant also sold merchandise produced by the British company Abprallen. The company’s lead designer Eric Carnell is a self-described Satanist.
Abprallen marketed a number of items with messages such as “Satan respects pronouns” and “heteronormativity is a plague.” One product featured a guillotine and called it a “homophobe headrest.”
The designer separately stated that “Satanists don’t actually believe in Satan, he is merely used as a symbol of passion, pride and liberty. He means to you what you need him to mean. So for me, Satan is hope, compassion, equality and love. So, naturally, Satan respects pronouns.”
Carnell further described the devil as a “mixture of genders, beings, ideas and existences” and referred to Satan as “themself.”