Retail giant Target has issued an apology after somewhat imprudently adorning its new East Village location in a promotional facade reminiscent of legendary New York City punk rock club CBGB, as reported by The New York Times.
Many apparently felt the sting of corporate cultural appropriation. Target erected an awning outside of the store on Thursday that read “TRGT – BANDS” in the recognizable style of the storied red-and-white “CBGB – OMFUG” awning.
The retailer seemingly designed the display as a tribute to the departed Manhattan music venue. The original CBGB at Bowery and East 2nd Street hosted pioneering acts such as the Ramones and Blondie from 1973 until closing in the mid-2000s.
And the “BANDS” portion of Target’s CBGB-themed promotional event? It apparently comprised only of “Target-branded Band-Aids and exercise bands” instead of any music or GBCB-related items. Unsurprisingly, the backlash was immediate.
Author Jeremiah Moss wrote in his “Vanishing New York” blog that it “might be the most deplorable commodification of local neighborhood culture [he’s] ever witnessed.” Consequently, Target has issued a formal apology, per the NYT.
“We often host a… celebration that shows the neighborhood how excited we are to be part of their community,” Target said. It apologized “if some eventgoers felt it was not the best way to capture the spirit of the neighborhood.”
What do you think about the retailer’s CBGB-appropriating promotional event? Are you a big Target shopper? Did you ever visit or attend a show at the legendary CBGB club before it shut down? Sound off down in the comments section.