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Target pulls some of its Pride products after threats to store workers

Target wasn't immediately able to answer if there have been any direct threats made to its Minneapolis headquarters.

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Minneapolis retailer Target plans to pull some of its products celebrating Pride Month and the LGBTQ community in response to threats to store workers. Pictured is Pride merchandise offered in 2021.
Target / TNS

Minneapolis retailer Target plans to pull some of its products celebrating Pride Month and the LGBTQ community in response to threats and "confrontational behavior" it has seen at some stores.

Target has featured a colorful collection of Pride apparel, pet accessories and party supplies for years, normally showcasing the assortment at the front of stores beginning in May to celebrate Pride Month, typically observed in June to commemorate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride.

However in recent days, there have been reports of some customers trashing the Pride sections at stores and being aggressive with store workers. Target has also received calls threatening violence on its customer hotline. Target wasn't immediately able to answer if there have been any direct threats made to its Minneapolis headquarters.

"For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month," the company said in a statement. "Since introducing this year's collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members' sense of safety and wellbeing while at work.

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Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year."

While Target did not give a list of what particular items it would take off the shelves, the New York Post reported last week that some conservative consumers were outraged about a rainbow-colored, "tuck-friendly" swimsuit made for those who identify as transgender as well as "drag queen" shirts.

In a podcast interview with Fortune last week, Target CEO Brian Cornell doubled down on diversity and what he called Target's culture of "helping all the families" despite possible political issues.

"I think the facts are in the results for us and the things we've done from a (diversity, equity and inclusion) standpoint. It's adding value. It's helping us drive sales. It's building greater engagement with both our teams and our guests. And those are just the right things for our business today," he said.

ยฉ2023 StarTribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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