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Experts Predict Escalation in Boycotts as Target and Bud Light Witness Sales Slumps

Target reported last week that its sales had dropped during a three-month period for the first time in six years. The retailer attributed the reduction in sales, in part, to what Executive Vice President Christina Hennington called the “strong reaction” to its Pride month display.

In May, an anti-LGBTQ boycott against Target over the retailer’s Pride goods broke out, forcing them to withdraw select items from locations after experiencing hostility from staff.

Following the months-long decline in sales for Bud Lite that coincided with a boycott over a product promotion from trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, the sales decline at Target represents the latest indication of success for rightwing consumer activists.

Additionally, they added, the successes might encourage additional attempts, embolden anti-LGBTQ activists, and endanger businesses.

When widespread anti-LGBTQ backlash in May culminated in a boycott of the firm and reports of staff harassment, Target came under fire from conservatives.

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Threats Prompt Target to Consider Changes to Pride Exhibit

Target reported last week that its sales had dropped during a three-month period for the first time in six years.

Target’s executive vice president and chief growth officer, Christina Hennington, stated on a Wednesday earnings call that the firm is considering making changes to its Pride exhibit in reaction to the demonstrations.

Target said it deleted some items from this year’s Pride collection because the firm “experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work.” in a statement released in May, which came after the start of the anti-LGBTQ reaction.

According to the company’s financial report published earlier this month, Anheuser-U.S. Busch’s sales decreased by more than 10% over the three months ended in June compared to the same period the previous year. According to the most recent figures, Anheuser-core Busch’s profit in the United States decreased by more than 28%.

Analysts agreed that reasons other than the boycott of consumers, such as a post-pandemic trend toward purchasing services rather than commodities and consumer tiredness due to ongoing inflation, contributed to the fall in Target sales. 

According to Victor Asal, a professor of political science at the University of Albany who researches extremism, the effectiveness of recent boycotts raises them as a workable political tool, igniting a loop of increasing use that could give additional proof of success.

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Source: ABC News

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