Kohl’s, the renowned department store chain, is currently grappling with a significant decline in its stock value as calls for a boycott against the company continue to surge. Alongside the predicament faced by Target and Bud Light, who are also experiencing substantial financial setbacks due to similar boycott efforts, Kohl’s finds itself in a precarious situation.

While the extent of the Kohl’s boycott remains uncertain, both sides involved are apprehensive about whether it will resemble the unsuccessful NFL boycotts during the Colin Kaepernick era or the Bud Light boycott, which resulted in a staggering 30% decline in sales for the brand. Nonetheless, the company’s stock is already on a steep downward trajectory.

As of the time of writing this article, the stock has partially recovered and currently sits at $20.62. However, it experienced a low point of $17.99 on Thursday, June 1st, after plummeting by 5.1% on Tuesday and an additional 3.6% on Wednesday of the same week. These successive declines have pushed the stock to its lowest level since the spring of 2020, a time when the world grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent retail shutdowns that severely impacted companies like Kohl’s, heavily reliant on in-person shopping.

Determining the exact cause of these recent stock declines is challenging. The decline began prior to the emergence of boycott calls, with Kohl’s shares having already fallen by over 54% in the past year. However, the growing boycott movement on platforms such as TikTok and Twitter, primarily triggered by Kohl’s sale of Pride-themed merchandise, may have played a role. The hashtag #boycottkohls, which garnered over 368,000 views by May 31st, has since increased to 420.7K views as of June 5th. Most significantly, the untagged term “boycottkohls” has amassed a staggering 715.9M views, causing significant concern for the brand.

The boycott efforts orchestrated against Target, Bud Light, and other brands faced vehement criticism in a statement released by over 100 pro-LGBTQ+ groups, including GLAAD. These groups denounced boycotts as “extremist attacks and harassment” against businesses and called on companies to unequivocally defend the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The statement further emphasized the need for businesses to demonstrate unwavering support for LGBTQ+ employees, shareholders, customers, allies, and the broader community.

It is worth noting that both Target and Bud Light encountered backlash from both ends of the political spectrum. Target faced fury from the right for promoting LGBTQ+ messaging, while the left criticized the company for not sufficiently championing LGBTQ+ rights when they scaled back marketing campaigns and merchandise associated with the cause.

In conclusion, Kohl’s faces a significant boycott challenge as its stock continues to plummet. While the company’s financial decline began before the boycott calls emerged, the intensified boycott movement fueled by Pride-themed clothing has undoubtedly contributed to the downward trend. With the stock reaching its lowest point in years, Kohl’s must navigate these turbulent waters and determine the most effective strategy to restore confidence in its brand and weather the storm of public sentiment.