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Target Took Financial Hit From Pride Controversy

Retailer also lowers outlook for rest of the year

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Target (Minneapolis) CEO Brian Cornell said “negative reaction” to its Pride collection had a material impact on sales in its most recent quarter, CNBC reports. Cornell, talking to analysts and reporters in a call after the retailer released its second quarter results, defended the company’s response to the controversy and said after Target removed some items in June out of concern for employee and customer safety, it “saw things normalize.” He also said the retailer will continue to have a collection for Pride month and other heritage months.

As for its financial performance, the retailer lowered its full year sales and profit expectations, with comparable sales expected to see a mid-single digit decline for the remainder of 2023, and a full-year adjusted EPS (earnings per share) of $7.00 to $8.00.

“As we move into the fall, the team is gearing up for the biggest seasons of the year, with a focus on continuing to serve our guests with newness throughout our assortment,” Cornell said in a news release. “At the same time, we continue to take a cautious approach to planning our business, and have therefore adjusted our financial guidance in anticipation of continued near-term challenges on the topline. This approach, along with the long-term investments we’re making in our business and strategy, position us to deliver sustainable, profitable growth in the years ahead.”

Overall, the retailer operates about 2000 stores.

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