@timospears##targetstore is aware & said this is a shirt & I am more than welcomed to wear it or any other form of shirt in the future. ##microaggressions ##lgbtq♬ original sound – timospears

If retailers thought dealing with extreme couponing middle-aged Karens was challenging, they need to be extra cautious not to offend coupon-using millennials – because they have cellphones, sensitive feelings and a whole lot of social media followers who can make any retailer’s life miserable.

That’s what Target has discovered, after a 26-year-old shopper in Minnesota shamed the store, when a store employee shamed him during a minor coupon mixup.

The incident occurred the day before Labor Day at a Target store in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Timothy Rivera says he was trying to use a coupon for laundry detergent at the checkout when he realized he had grabbed the wrong brand. When he went back to swap his detergent for the right kind, he had a run-in with a store employee. So, as any tech-savvy, streetwise, socially-aware shopper about to have a confrontation in the detergent aisle of Target would do – he promptly pulled out his phone and hit record.

The video, which he posted to TikTok (click play to view above), has already racked up 1.7 million views in the week since he posted it. “I need you to have a shirt that covers more of you, please,” a Target security employee tells him, to which Rivera responds with a chuckle. “That’s all it is,” the employee continues. “No shirt, no shoes… that’s our store policy.”

Rivera then turns the camera to himself, clad in his deep-cut muscle tee. “This is what I’m wearing,” he says to the camera, showing off his low-side tank top with a front and a back but not much else. “Microaggressions,” he sighs, as the video ends.


The encounter left him so flustered, he told the website In The Know, that when he got home he realized he had forgotten to use his coupon. So he headed back to the store, went to customer service and ended up telling the employee there what had happened earlier with the security employee. “He told me that this wasn’t enough to wear,” he told the employee. “And she was like, ‘You’re kidding,’” he said.

You can debate what constitutes proper attire for a Target run, and whether Rivera was merely comfortable or a bit too casual. And many people already have.

“That’s a lot of arm skin he’s showing,” one commenter wrote in response to the video. “You and I both know that’s not a shirt at this point,” another said. “It’s not microaggression, it’s their policy. He’s just doing his job, get over yourself,” a third commenter wrote.

But others were more supportive. “For real?! Absolutely nothing wrong with your shirt. This is ridiculous,” one commenter weighed in. “I’ve worn way less into a Target,” another wrote, while another observed, “You’ve overdressed for Walmart.”

Target could have ignored the whole thing as one overly-sensitive shopper’s hurt feelings about one overly-conservative employee’s strict standards. But as Rivera’s social media followers started leaving negative reviews of the St. Louis Park store online, and reaching out to Target on Twitter, Target seemed to have a full-fledged, casually-dressed millennial revolt on its hands. So Target ended up reaching out to Rivera.

“Target has apologized to me and said I can wear any form of tshirt, tank top, or crop top in the future,” Rivera posted in an update. He said Target told him it would train its employees to “make sure this doesn’t happen again,” though he doesn’t know what has happened to the security employee who critiqued his Target chic. “I don’t wish to get him fired – however a reprimand would be ideal,” he said.

So whether you support Target shoppers’ right to wear what they want without being shirt-shamed, or whether you shake your head at the underdressed and oversensitive who consider standards of public decency to be “microaggressions”, there one thing we can all agree on – at least young millennials are using coupons. So no matter what they wear, there may be hope for the next generation yet.


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