10 Things Target Has Pulled From Its Shelves

Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Over the years, Target has had more than a few misfires. In the half century the retail giant has existed, it's moved a lot of product—both online and in its 1800-plus stores across the country. It has also pulled a number of items due to customer outrage, ethical concerns, shifting industry standards, or a combination of all three. Here are 10 goods that missed the mark.




One of the highest-rated and best-selling video games of all time was hardly adored by all when it released in October 2013. Target stores in Australia (and Aussie Kmarts, both owned by the Wesfarmers retail group) decided to remove the game from shelves in late 2014 after nearly 46,000 people signed an online petition arguing that Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V “encourages players to murder women for entertainment.” Target's GM of Corporate Affairs, Jim Cooper, issued a statement acknowledging the "significant level of concern" over the game and confirming that the company would remove it from their Australian stores. Cooper added that Target would continue to sell other R-rated games to adult customers, but that the “strong feedback” about GTA V had led to its removal.




Following an investigation into store-brand supplements earlier this year, New York State’s attorney general issued subpoenas to Target, Walgreens, GNC, and Walmart that required the retailers to prove the claims printed on their labels. DNA tests conducted by the attorney general’s office found that most of the products did not contain the ingredients advertised, and while some industry experts argued that the tests were not reliable, Target and others pulled the products when threatened with legal action.




Like Amazon and many others in the wake of the June massacre at a Charleston, South Carolina church, Target pulled all Confederate flags from its online and brick-and-mortar shelves. After an inquiry by CNBC, the chain also removed Confederate costumes from its website.




In the mid 1980s and early 1990s, there were a number of incidents involving the police and civilians (often children) in which cops mistook toy guns for the real thing. To prevent further tragedy, a number of retailers, including Target, stopped selling realistic-looking toy weapons. Cities including New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. have since banned the sale of airsoft guns, and federal law now requires that manufacturers permanently attach a bright orange plug to the barrel of the toys.



Target stopped selling cigarettes in its stores in 1996 because, according to The New York Times, “it was costing too much to keep them out of the hands of minors.” 



Sergey Galyonkin, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

The brand put an end to a retail practice known as “showrooming” in 2012. This came after the retailer’s online competitor, Amazon, had encouraged shoppers to scan Kindle barcodes in-store to compare prices and receive a discount on Amazon.com. The news about the end of Amazon and Target's relationship came in the form of a leaked memo, but Target later confirmed the decision. A spokesperson for the company wouldn't elaborate, telling CNN Money that “we typically don't discuss our relationships with vendor partners.”



Target announced

 in 2010 that, as part of its efforts to become a “responsible steward of the environment,” the company would no longer sell farmed salmon in any of its stores. Instead, the discount chain committed to packaging and selling only wild-caught Alaskan salmon, and even consulted the Monterey Bay Aquarium about how to make more sustainable choices.



SandiLake on Etsy


In Spring 2015, designer Melissa Lay accused Target of ripping off the #Merica t-shirts that she sold via her small clothing company on Etsy. The story gained traction online, and Target eventually pulled the designs, issuing a statement that said the company was “concerned when this was brought to our attention. We've been in contact with the vendor that produced this tee. We've also reached out directly to the designer.”



Aaron Davidson/Getty Images

During her very public fall from grace in 2013, butter enthusiast Paula Deen was dumped by a number of brands looking to distance themselves from the chef, who admitted in a deposition that she had used racist language. Deen's cookware and her books were “phased out” from Target stores and Target.com as she struggled to save her tarnished image.



Ronald Yudo Adityo, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Citing ethical concerns about the dangers involved in the production process, Target stopped selling sandblasted denim in 2012. “The safety of factory workers should not be compromised for the sake of fashion,” Target's lead fabric engineer said in a statement.

Learn Travel Blogging, Novel Writing, Editing, and More With This $30 Creative Writing Course Bundle

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Centre of Excellence

It seems like everyone is a writer lately, from personal blog posts to lengthy Instagram captions. How can your unique ideas stand out from the clutter? These highly reviewed courses in writing for travel blogs, novel writing, and even self-publishing are currently discounted and will teach you just that. The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle is offering 10 courses for $29.99, which are broken down into 422 bite-sized lessons to make learning manageable and enjoyable.

Access your inner poet or fiction writer and learn to create compelling works of literature from home. Turn that passion into a business through courses that teach the basics of setting up, hosting, and building a blog. Then, the social media, design, and SEO lessons will help distinguish your blog.

Once you perfect your writing, the next challenge is getting that writing seen. While the bundle includes lessons in social media and SEO, it also includes a self-publishing course to take things into your own hands to see your work in bookshops. You’ll learn to keep creative control and royalties with lessons on the basics of production, printing, proofreading, distribution, and marketing efforts. The course bundle also includes lessons in freelance writing that teach how to make a career working from home.

If you’re more of an artistic writer, the calligraphy course will perfect your classical calligraphy scripts to confidently shape the thick and thin strokes of each letter. While it can definitely be a therapeutic hobby, it’s also a great side-hustle. Create your own designs and make some extra cash selling them as wedding placards or wall art.

Take your time perfecting your craft with lifetime access to the 10 courses included in The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle. At the discounted price of $29.99, you’ll have spent more money on the coffee you’re sipping while you write your next novel than the courses themselves.


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A Diehard Fan of The Office Just Wrote a 24-Episode 10th Season—and You Can Read It Online

The cast of The Office in a scene from the series finale.
The cast of The Office in a scene from the series finale.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Just like William Shakespeare before him, one fan of The Office has been using his time in quarantine to get a little creative, writing an entire new season of the beloved sitcom.

As Geek Tyrant reports, extreme Dunder Mifflinite Nick Janicki spent his time indoors writing a full, 24-episode 10th season of the series, and it's available for anyone to read online. Just be prepared that it may take a little time, as it's 900 pages long!

Janicki did the beloved sitcom appropriate justice by bringing back all the most crucial characters, including Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, Pam Beesly, and Jim Halpert. To see exactly what goes down in each episode, and how Janicki's imagined 10th season plays out, you'll have to read it for yourself. The scripts are described as a "reunion season" and each one is currently available to read in PDF form. With titles like "The Dunderal," [PDF] and "Bachelor & Chill," [PDF] it sounds like fans are in for a real treat.

It might not be the long-awaited reunion fans had hoped for, but hey, it's something. As for whether or not the series will ever make like Friends and announce an official reunion, that is really anyone's guess. According to the show's creator Greg Daniels, the ensemble cast might be too big and too busy to all come back together for a new show. Thankfully, however, fans got the next big thing when many of the actors appeared on a recent episode of John Krasinski's Some Good News for a virtual wedding.

[h/t Geek Tyrant]