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Walmart Set To Release Pride Merchandise While Target Holds Back

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Walmart Set To Release Pride Merchandise While Target Holds Back
Source: Pinterest

Walmart Set to Release Pride Merchandise While Target Holds Back

Source: Pinterest

Pride month is in a few days, and the LGBTQ+ community is abuzz. While many big brands have not made moves to celebrate the month, Walmart has announced the upcoming release of a pride merchandise line.

Pride Month

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LGBTQ+ Pride Month is a special month set aside to celebrate the members of the LGBTQ+ community from all walks of life. This typically happens from the first day of June to the last day of the month every year. Many big corporations also celebrate Pride Month by introducing special offers or merchandise to show support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Walmart Pride Merchandise

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Retail giant Walmart is taking a huge step to show support for LGBTQ+ pride month by announcing a special merchandise launch in June. The store posted a video on its official Instagram account promoting the brand-new Pride collection that is coming soon. However, this has received a lot of backlash from the commenters, who want Walmart to sell normal merchandise and not “lifestyles.”

The ‘Pride Always’ Collection

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Walmart has named this special collection the “Pride Always” 2024 Collection. The promotional video shows an array of items, ranging from notebooks with positive inscriptions to tote bags with the phrase “totes gay.” Bianca, the head of Bianca Designs, who designed the collection, noted that it was important for her to keep the messages on these merchandising items uplifting and positive. 

A Statement by Walmart

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This is a bold move by Walmart after the Target controversy that happened in June last year. Therefore, Walmart’s chief merchandising officer, Latriece Watkins, released an official statement in response to people’s questions. She noted that Walmart always has merchandise supporting all groups that are sold all year long, and this new line is no different. 

ALSO READ: Target Limits Pride Month Collection to Specific Stores After Facing Backlash in 2023

Controversy With Target in 2023

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Another big retail company, Target, was subjected to a lot of backlash last year due to its Pride merchandise. The promotional material for Target’s line went viral after some people found it questionable. One notable mention was a line of “tuck-friendly” swimsuits that people claimed were made for kids. However, Target and other publications reported that they were only for adults. 

People Boycotting Target 

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Target received a lot of backlash for its Pride merchandise in June 2023, which greatly affected its sales. Online, people started to push several boycott campaigns against the company, leading to a reduction in sales. This year, Bloomberg reports that Target is still selling some home goods and adult apparel with a Pride theme, but these will only be available in selected locations and stores. 

Target’s Official Statement

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Last year, Target’s criticism caused the company to recall most of its Pride merchandise, removing it from its shelves nationwide. In fact, some of its employees received serious threats from the public as well. Therefore, the company put out a statement saying that they were removing the items that were receiving backlash from the public. 

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Disappointment from the LGBTQ+ Community

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On the other hand, some members of the public were highly disappointed by the decision Target took. They believed that it was unfair to the LGBTQ+ community and didn’t want them to take the merchandise off the shelves. Kelley Robinson, the Human Rights Campaign President, said to NPR that the move was not in favor of the community members and had no good effects.

A Lose-Lose Situation 

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This incident further shows that companies can never win when it comes to matters like this, as people always turn them into culture wars. If they do not release Pride merchandise, they’ll get backlash from the LGBTQ+ community. However, if they do, other people still bash them for doing so. Therefore, it is a lose-lose situation for these companies. 

ALSO READ: Huntington Beach Bans Rainbow Pride Flag From City Property

Constant Backlash

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In recent times, people who are anti-LGBTQ+ and conservatives have been very vocal about their opposition. They have also been quite successful at tearing down social media campaigns from big companies if they support the LGBTQ+ movement. For example, Bud Light lost an estimated $1 billion in sales after receiving backlash for featuring a transgender influencer.

A Political Agenda 

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These critics, conservatives, and anti-LGBTQ+ people have now adopted a “Go Woke Go Broke” mantra as a threat to companies that support the movement. This has also become a political agenda as the Republicans and Democrats are at opposite ends of the issue. Therefore, most companies are scared to make moves that support the LGBTQ-+ community out of fear of being canceled. 

Walmart’s Backlash

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Walmart’s ‘Pride Always Collection’ has received much praise from the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. However, it is not surprising that many others are still not happy with the upcoming line. While some believe Walmart is trying to push the LGBTQ+ ideology, others believe representation is key and are grateful that the brand is standing its ground. 

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