Kohl’s has become the latest major retailer to buy itself a cartful of trouble with shoppers, some of whom are voicing outrage that the department store chain is marketing LGBTQ merchandise to infants and minors, Fox News reported on Monday.
Kohl’s joined Target, Anheuser-Busch and The North Face among retailers currently experiencing public backlash and calls for a boycott. This, after Kohl’s released its latest Pride Month merchandise, including a “Baby Sonoma Community Pride Bodysuit set” for 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month-old kids.
The bodysuit, or onesie, sports an illustration of what appears to be a lesbian couple with a dog and three children, including a young boy in a wheelchair. One adult in the illustration is carrying a progressive pride flag.
Other Kohl’s Pride merchandise under scrutiny includes a “Love Is Love” banner, towels, bibs, candles, shorts, and pillows, as well as shirts that say “Be Proud” and “Ask Me My Pronouns.”
According to Fox’s report, the Twitter account “End Wokeness” highlighted Kohl’s merchandise on Sunday, featuring several images and a caption that said, “Looks like Kohls didn’t learn a thing from Bud Lite and Target.”
Turning Point USA (TPUSA) has also called out the retailer over the clothing line; Benny Johnson, the organization’s chief creative officer, tweeted Sunday, “Why is Kohl’s selling ‘Pride Merch’ for 3 month old babies?” A video posted by TPUSA contributor and Gen Z influencer Morgonn McMichael condemned the chain’s “disgusting” merchandise, calling it “blatant virtue signaling” to promote “transgender ideology” to young Americans.
Last week, skateboarder Taylor Silverman reacted on her Twitter account, asking: “Pride for babies at @Kohls. Why does Kohls support gay and trans people demanding validation from babies? Why do they want to associate babies with sexuality?”
The growing backlash against Kohl’s is fueling calls for a boycott, including one Twitter user who wrote: “Another Company needing Bud-lighting!”
The company has already experienced significant troubles over the past year. In July 2022, Kohl’s stock plummeted almost 21% after it announced a potential deal to be acquired by Franchise Group fell through and that a decline in sales, made worse by a drop in consumer spending, was imminent.
Last week, Target opted to remove some of its Pride Month collection after the retailer’s promotion resulted in threats to the safety of its employees. It had also been revealed that the retailer had lost $10.15 billion in market capitalization due to the public backlash over its LGBTQ line of kids clothing, as well as one-piece swimsuits with “tuck-friendly construction” and “extra crotch coverage.”
The North Face Trail also faced shopper recoil last week — as well as more than a 3% drop in shares of parent company VF Corp. — 24 hours after launching its “Summer of Pride” social media campaign with mustachioed drag queen Pattie Gonia.
Gonia opened the video promotion in rainbow North Face gear and makeup by identifying himself as “a real-life homosexual” and inviting consumers “to come out … in nature with us!”
After a controversial partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney resulted in a grueling month that saw its stock downgraded by HSBC analysts and Bud Light sales drop by 28%, Anheuser-Busch InBev informed wholesalers on May 21 that the company would buy back unsold cases of the beer.