Frustrated Target Designers Speak Out After the Company’s Latest Move

Significant, swift changes have swept through Target  (TGT) – Get Free Report stores all across the U.S. recently. The retailer’s famous Pride Month line of merchandise has been moved to a less-prominent display while some items have been fully removed from inventory following anti-LGBTQ backlash. 

One particular transgender creator was singled out for his non-Target affiliated merchandise — but the retailer pulled his designs from shelves anyway. Now, a handful of other creators have spoken up, saying their designs have been pulled, too.

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Ash + Chess, a queer and trans-owned business, designed four greeting cards and three t-shirts for Target’s Pride collection.  One weekend before Pride festivities begin, the company posted that “the majority of our collection” had been pulled from Target due to “threats from domestic terrorists.”

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Meanwhile, queer designer JZD released a statement that their “retail partner” notified them that some of their items would be pulled from stores, moved to the back of some stores, or completely pulled the items. Their Target Pride collection was JZD’s second collaboration with the mega-retailer.

The decision to move or remove items to protect “team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work” has been met with contention. Target’s response “risks emboldening extremists while alienating the LGBTQ+ community, a core customer group it desperately needs to shop at its stores,” says TheStreet’s Thomas Lee.

Target has been known for its commitment to its LGBTQ+ consumers in the past. But according to Kelley Robinson, the President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the time to stand up is past. 

“Target should put the products back on the shelves and ensure their Pride displays are visible on the floors, not pushed into the proverbial closet,” she said in a statement. “That’s what the bullies want. Target must be better.”

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