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Target investor sues retailer over ‘disastrous’ backlash to LGBT merch that cost shareholders ‘billions’
Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Target investor sues retailer over ‘disastrous’ backlash to LGBT merch that cost shareholders ‘billions’

America First Legal, a conservative legal group, filed a lawsuit against Target on behalf of an investor over the “disastrous” backlash to the retailer’s decision to stock LGBT merchandise.

The AFL filed the complaint on behalf of Target shareholder Brian Craig, who owns 216 shares of stock. The lawsuit claimed that prior to Target’s LBGT-Pride Campaign, his stock was valued at approximately $35,000, but following customer blowback, it dropped to around $29,000.

AFL’s suit accused the retailer’s board of directors of betraying customers and shareholders “by making false and misleading statements concerning Target’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) mandates that led to its disastrous 2023 children-and-family themed LGBT-Pride campaign.”

Target allegedly misused investors’ funds “to serve its divisive political and social goals — and ultimately lose billions.”

The retailer came under fire in May for selling Pride-themed clothing for children and adults, including onesies for newborn babies and “tuck-friendly” bathing suits. Target also received backlash for selling products that appeared to support satanism, violence, and drug use.

In response to the blowback, Target attempted to quietly move some of the controversial products away from the front of its stores. In late May, it announced that it would remove some of the LGBT-themed merchandise from its stores and website altogether due to “confrontational behavior” and “threats” from some customers.

AFL’s lawsuit alleged that Target was primarily focused on advancing its ESG and DEI mandates and failed to monitor the potential social and political risks properly. The legal group argued that the retailer violated U.S. securities laws.

Craig is seeking monetary damages for the drop in Target’s stock following the controversy over its LGBT campaign.

“We filed a shareholder lawsuit against @Target in federal court over its misleading statements to shareholders about monitoring political/social risks, resulting in a $12B loss due to its recent promotion of queer/transgender propaganda to children,” AFL posted on Twitter.

The lawsuit accused the retailer of working with “extremist hard-left ‘stakeholders’” against its shareholders’ best interests.

“Target assured shareholders and investors that the Board was monitoring for social and political issues and risks arising from the company’s ESG mandates,” AFL continued. “However, management only cared whether its leftist ‘stakeholders’ were satisfied, disregarding the possibility that its customers and shareholders might feel differently.”

Target did not respond to a request for comment, Reuters reported.

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