WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING, BESIDES EVERYONE? Target Sales Are Punished by Pride Month Backlash: Retailer lowers profit goal for full year; executives say they will modify Pride Month promotion.

Target said shopper backlash over its Pride Month collection, as well as cautious consumers, pushed sales sharply lower in the most recent quarter.

The retailer said it expected sales to decline again in the current quarter and lowered its profit goal for the full year. Executives said they would still mark Pride Month next year but with a more focused assortment of merchandise. . . .

Retail rival TJX, which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, reported on Wednesday a 6% jump in comparable sales in the same quarter and raised its sales growth and profit targets for the year. TJX said it had strong foot traffic to its stores and demand for apparel and home goods. Shares gained 3% in premarket trading.

Target shares have fallen 16% so far this year. Its experience with its Pride collection exemplifies the cultural environment companies face when it comes to issues that could be perceived as controversial.

Who could have guessed that kid’s bikinis designed for boys to tuck their penises away would be “perceived as controversian?” Again, everyone except the bubble-dwellers in Target’s fashion merchandising and marketing departments.

Another example of the diversity problem within nearly all of our major institutions.

UPDATE: My mistake. The “tuck-friendly” swimsuits were only in the adult section. Target did, however, offer kids a swimskirt that would “thoughtfully fit on multiple body types and gender expressions.”