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Target withdraws some of its Pride products after threatening store employees

Minneapolis-based 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 in some stores.

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

However, in recent days there have been reports of some customers trashing Pride sections in stores and being aggressive with store workers. Target also received violent threatening calls on its customer hotline. Target was unable to immediately respond if direct threats were made against its Minneapolis headquarters.

“For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products to celebrate Pride Month,” the company said in a statement. “Since the introduction of this year’s collection, we have experienced threats affecting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being at work. Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing the elements that have been at the center of the most prominent confrontational behavior Our goal now is to move forward with our continued commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and stand by them as we celebrate the month pride and throughout the year.

Although Target didn’t give a list of the particular items it would pull from shelves, the New York Post reported last week that some conservative consumers were outraged by a rainbow-colored swimsuit, “tuck -friendly” designed 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 families” despite possible political issues.

“I think the facts are in the results for us and the things we’ve done for a [diversity, equity and inclusion] point of view. It’s adding value. This helps us drive sales. This reinforces the commitment of our teams and our customers. And those are exactly the right things for our business today,” he said.

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