Kohl’s has found itself in the midst of controversy as it faces criticism for offering LGBTQ-themed infant clothing, joining the ranks of companies such as Target and Bud Light that have been attacked for their promotion of what some consider “woke” items.
In preparation for June’s Pride Month, Kohl’s has introduced onesies featuring the LGBTQ pride flag. Among their collection is the “Baby Sonoma Community Pride Bodysuit Set,” available for purchase at $9.99. The product description proudly declares, “This Baby Sonoma Community® Pride Bodysuit Set is the perfect way to show your support for the LGBTQ community during Pride month and all year long.” The onesie, designed for infants as young as three months old, depicts a joyful procession of people of all ages waving the LGBTQ flag.
However, Kohl’s decision to offer LGBTQ-themed apparel has triggered a wave of backlash, with calls for boycotts flooding social media platforms. Critics argue that the clothing is inappropriate for children. One Twitter user expressed their outrage, stating, “Kohl’s, with the Pride Baby apparel… It’s disgusting that you’re going after kids. #BoycottTarget was the first step, and now we have another reason to stop shopping there.” Another Twitter user directly addressed Kohl’s, accusing the company of promoting adult sexual preferences on kids’ clothes and concluding with, “Go woke, go broke, motherf***ers.”
Similar controversies surrounding LGBTQ-themed products have had financial implications for other companies. According to Jared Dinges, a beverage analyst at JPMorgan Chase, “we believe there is a subset of American consumers who will not drink Bud Light for the foreseeable future.” Dinges predicts a potential 12-13% decrease in Bud Light’s volume.
The Daily Wire recently reported that Anheuser-Busch’s stock has experienced an 11.9% decline since April 1st, while Molson Coors Beverage’s shares have increased by 20%, resulting in a market value boost of approximately $2.2 billion for Molson Coors. Analysts at JPMorgan anticipate a 12% drop in Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. beer sales this year.
Furthermore, Target faced a significant impact on its stock value after receiving criticism for its LGBTQ Pride displays, including transgender-friendly children’s clothing. Within just ten days, Target’s stock value plummeted by a staggering $10 billion.
As companies like Kohl’s navigate the terrain of social issues and inclusivity, they face both praise and criticism. The clash between those applauding their efforts and those decrying them highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the appropriate boundaries of corporate activism and the potential financial consequences that may arise from taking a stance on social and cultural issues.