In a relatively small but still heartwarming gesture towards equality for all, Target is now stocking greeting cards celebrating same-sex marriage because it wants to celebrate "diversity and inclusivity" and offer products that are "relevant for everyone." An added bonus: judging by the photos in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, they're way less cheesy and saccharine than the ones reserved for heterosexuals.
Marketing experts told the paper that Target clearly weighed the risk of bigoted ire against the rewards of marketing to LGBTQ households; the latter group yields a purchasing power of $790 billion, or roughly $49,000 per adult. Surveys also show that educated millennials — a group all companies try hard to lure into stores — respond positively (aka with $$$) to companies that market to gay consumers and therefore seem accepting and relevant.
Target has also been trying veeery hard to make everyone forget about that $150,000 donation it made in 2010 to a group backing Tom Emmer, a Republican gubernatorial candidate who opposed gay marriage. At the time, Target said it donated to the group because of its tax and jobs platform, but the company has been trying to make up for the gaffe ever since; for example, it launched a line of T-shirts with gay pride themes last month and donated all of the proceeds from sales to an LGBTQ group.
"All the actions Target has taken since the MN Forward kerfuffle have been friendly to the gay community," Akshay Rao, a marketing professor at the University of Minnesota, told the Star Tribune," and this is one more in those long line of steps." But not everyone is such a skeptic. Dot Belstler, executive director of Twin Cities Pride, said she thought the move was "great marketing" but that it didn't seem like a superficial attempt to make up for Target's past actions. "It's a natural evolution as people realize the GLBT community exists and isn't going away," she said.
There's something a tad bittersweet about being able to buy a wedding card for a couple whose marriage isn't recognized in most U.S. states, but hopefully even small (and slightly banal) steps forward can help make a difference in the minds of voters — especially when they're led by a gigantic corporation such as Target.
Target stocks cards for same-sex couples [Minneapolis Star Tribune]
Image via Amy Walters/Shutterstock.