Shoppers recently took issue with Kohl’s after the department store started offering LGBTQ clothing for infants and young kids, with many calling for the store’s boycott.
It’s no secret that the display of Pride Month merchandise has ruffled some feathers, including a baby bodysuit set displaying a drawing of a lesbian couple with three kids – one of whom uses a wheelchair – and a dog. The adult in the drawing carries a progressive pride flag, while other clothing items feature slogans such as ‘Be Proud’ and ‘Ask Me My Pronouns.’
Several social media accounts shared pictures of the Pride display and its affiliated products, with one of them being the Twitter account ‘End Wokeness.’ Notably, the Twitter account posted pictures of several items, including a ‘Love Is Love’ banner, towels, bibs, candles, shorts, and pillows. Interestingly, Kohl’s isn’t the first retailer to be scrutinized for selling LGBTQ products for children, as the products sold by Target were recently criticized following an uproar from customers.
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In a recent video posted on Sunday, TPUSA contributor and influencer Morgonnn described Kohl’s sale of LGBTQ clothing for children as ‘disgusting’ and ‘blatant virtue signaling,’ intended to promote ‘transgender ideology’ to young Americans. Such negative reactions to the store’s offerings saw the product-related tweet go viral, with several people calling for the company’s boycott. Skateboarder Taylor Silverman went on twitter and asked, ‘Why does Kohls support gay and trans people demanding validation from babies?’
Some users have raised concerns that offering pride merchandise for kids and infants is an attempt by retailers to sexualize children. A particular tweet went viral and read, ‘Looks like Kohl’s didn’t learn a thing from Bud Lite and Target.’ It’s perhaps troubling to note that several corporations have seen significant market share losses recently after marketing LGBTQ products and influencers to younger demographics.
It’s no secret that Kohl’s stock price has been declining significantly over the past year, with the store’s shares plummeting over 50% due to several worrying signs. In July 2022, Kohl’s stock price declined by almost 21% after the retailer announced it had declined a potential acquisition deal by Franchise Group and predicted decreased sales due to a decrease in consumer spending. Kohl’s did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
The fact that Kohl’s has not responded to the recent controversy regarding their Pride display is bound to raise eyebrows. Nevertheless, it’s clear that several corporations selling products whose subject matter involves LGBTQ issues face potential backlash. The merchandise in question includes one-piece swimsuits featuring ‘tuck-friendly construction’ and ‘extra crotch coverage’ available at Target, for instance. It would appear that many customers may feel that these items and similiar ones sexualize children and infants.
It’s essential to consider the issues at play here beyond the political biases of consumers. While many may find the products on display to be acceptable, several are of the view that products meant for children should not be associated with any sexual orientation or ideology. Kohl’s and other retailers may need to take this feedback into account when selecting products they wish to offer to customers.
It’s also important to note that there’s a fine line between the freedom of businesses to offer products they desire, and customers’ right to express displeasure with the same. As can be expected, customers may opt to boycott brands that offer products that they find troubling. Nevertheless, it’s essential to acknowledge that not everyone will share the same views or concerns about the product and that the response of various individuals on social media may create only an isolated incident.
Many customers may also not feel the need to link political views with their purchasing habits and may well continue to purchase without paying much attention to the political implications of product offerings. It’s worthwhile to note that brand loyalty changes and that businesses can act to make changes, including to products they offer if customers feel that their values do not align with the brands’.
In a world where morals and social issues are increasingly becoming politicized, the response of businesses to these issues has become a subject of scrutiny. Retailers like Kohl’s appear to have come under fire in recent months for offering pride merchandise meant for younger demographics. Presumably, concerns about sexualizing children and infants come up whenever pride merchandise is sold for younger demographics.
It appears that conservatives are divided on the issue of Pride merchandise for younger demographics, with some seeing it as ‘virtue-signaling’ and unnecessary, while others may see it as an essential aspect of creating awareness and representation. Therefore, the move by retailers to cater to their LGBTQ customers may also be an acknowledgement of the economic clout and purchasing power of the LGBTQ community and an attempt to represent and support these customers.
It’s worth noting that retailers can only offer products they feel aligns with their brand image and values. Still, customers should also feel free to purchase products within the limits of their beliefs and values. Boycotts are a legitimate option, but in the end, it’s purchasing choices that businesses respond to, and businesses should act based on what they feel will be most profitable. With the surge of social media, it’s no surprise that issues previously not given much attention are now the subject of viral tweets and potential controversies.
The move by Kohl’s to offer Pride merchandise for infants is just one example of where a business’s decisions may conflict with customers’ viewpoints. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering that some customers may find these products appealing, and retailers should try to cater to all demographics, including those identifying within the LGBTQ community. At the end of the day, businesses need to offer products that will cater to all segments of their customer base, even if some people may not agree with them.
It’s essential to acknowledge that objections and objections from some customers may be valid. However, it’s equally important to take stock and consider whether the issue itself is of importance. Is Pride merchandise for babies really of such significance that it’s worth creating an uproar about? Furthermore, are such products capable of sexualizing infants and children, thus warranting the level of outrage displayed on social media?
Ultimately, businesses need to balance the views put forth by their customers and their economic considerations. Offering Pride merchandise is precisely what many businesses may consider prudent, even if it alienates certain factions of their customer base. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the avenues available for customers to make their displeasure known are many, and that businesses need to try and adapt to the changing views and attitudes of their customer base if they wish to maintain relevance.
In conclusion, while several conservative-leaning customers may be outraged by Kohl’s Pride Month displays and merchandise offerings, it’s worth taking into account the larger context surrounding the issue. Retailers such as Kohl’s offer Pride merchandise in acknowledgment of the economic viability of the LGBTQ customer base, and while their offerings may not appeal to everyone. It’s essential to balance the freedom of businesses to offer products they see fit with customers’ right to criticize or boycotting such offerings. Ultimately, businesses will go with what they feel will be most profitable while considering the demands of their customer base.
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