The United States has been engulfed in a national cultural war for several years, and tensions continue to worsen. This “cold” conflict has not been limited to the political arena; indeed, nearly every aspect of ordinary life in the United States has been affected, with corporations often playing central roles in the continued battle. Most recently, Anheuser-Busch and its parent company InBev made headlines after promoting transgender activism on their Bud Light cans. The company suffered catastrophically in financial terms, losing over $400 million; Bud Light was also dethroned as the nation’s best-selling beer, and hundreds of corporate staff members were laid off. In a similar fashion, the popular retailer Target has experienced sales declines after promoting LGBTQ and Gay Pride rhetoric on children’s clothing.
For the first time in six years, Targets sales fell. In total, revenue at brick and mortar locations open for at least a full year declined by 5.4% in the previous quarter; internet sales decreased by over 10%. These numbers caused the New York City based company to reduce its annual sales forecast. In an appearance with Fox News, the former Vice Chairman of Target Mr. Gerald Storch stated that he has no reservations when saying that the corporation made a miscalculation when marketing for Pride Month in June of 2023. Storch did add that while he felt that the marketing was certainly impactful and played a role in declining sales figures, he believed it was a small minority percentage of the overall drop.
Perhaps the most alarming development regarding the company’s recent marketing strategy surrounding the LGBTQ community is that much of the products directed towards the niche community came in the form of children’s clothing. Swimsuits designed for transgender individuals appeared in sizes meant for children. These promotional products come at a time when a heated debate surrounding transgender education for minors’ rages in communities around the nation, most notably in New Jersey.