Kohl’s Latest to Feel Backlash After Baby Pride Merch Sparks Shopper Outrage

Kohl’s has become the latest retailer to feel backlash after finding itself in trouble with shoppers voicing outrage over its marketing of LGBTQ merchandise to infants and minors, according to industry reports.

Kohl’s joined The North Face, Anheuser-Busch, and Target, among retailers currently experiencing calls for boycotts and public backlash. This follows the big box retailer’s latest Pride Month merchandise release, including a “Baby Sonoma Community Pride Bodysuit set” for 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month-old kids.

The onesie, or bodysuit, sports an illustration of what appears to be an illustration of a lesbian couple, a dog, and three children — one of whom is in a wheelchair. One of the adults is carrying a progressive pride flag.

Other Pride merchandise from the retailer under scrutiny includes a “Love is Love” banner, bibs, shorts, towels, candles, and pillows, as well as shirts that say “Ask Me My Pronouns” and “Be Proud.”

According to a report, the Twitter account “End Wokeness” highlighted Kohl’s merchandise Sunday and featured several images and a caption that read, “Looks like Kohl’s didn’t learn a thing from Bud Lite and Target.”

Turning Point USA (TPUSA) also called out the retailer over its clothing line. The organization’s chief creative officer, Benny Johnson, tweeted Sunday, “Why is Kohl’s selling ‘Pride Merch’ for 3 month old babies?” A TPUSA contributor posted a video along with Gen Z influencer Morgonn McMichael condemning the chain’s “disgusting” merchandise, referring to it as “blatant virtue signaling” to promote “transgender ideology” to young Americans.

Last week, skateboarder Taylor Silverman reacted on Twitter by saying, “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 Kohl’s backlash has fueled calls for a boycott, including one Twitter user who wrote: “Another Company needing Bud-lighting!”

Kohl’s has already experienced substantial troubles over the past year. In July 2022, the company’s stock dropped almost 21% after it announced a possible deal to be acquired by Franchise Group had fallen through and that a sales decline, made worse by a decrease in consumer spending, was imminent.

Kohl’s backlash follows backlash, boycotts of other retailers

Just last week, Target moved to remove some of its Pride month merchandise after the retailer’s promotion sparked a $10.5 billion market capitalization due to public backlash over its LGBTQ line of kids’ clothing, along with one-piece swimsuits with “extra crotch coverage” and “tuck-friendly construction.”

The North Face Trail also faced consumer backlash last week, along with a 3% drop in shares of its parent company VF Corp., 24 hours after launching its “Summer of Pride” social media campaign featuring Pattie Gonia, a mustachioed drag queen.

Gonia opened the video wearing rainbow North Face makeup and gear and identifying himself as “a real-life homosexual,” inviting consumers “to come out … in nature with us!”

Following a controversial partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer, that saw its stock downgraded by HSBC analysts and sales of Bud Light drop by 28%, Anheuser-Busch InBev informed its wholesalers May 21 that the company intended to buy back any unsold cases of beer.