This Retailer is Removing “Gendered” Signs and People Are Pretty Excited

posted: 08/10/15
by: Courtney Reimer

We've known for some time now that toys targeting girls tend to focus more on princesses and makeup while boys' toys focus more on building, cars and other mechanical feats. Companies like GoldieBlox were heralded for their efforts at bringing more engineering toys to female youth, and now Target can add its name to retailers doing its part to break down gender barriers.

First, a little history: a couple of months ago, Twitter user and Ohio mom Abi Bechtel posted a photo that showed a sign indicating "Building Sets" and "Girls' Building Sets." Her caption: "Don't do this, @target".

The tweet was shared thousands of times, and apparently it sparked a lot of conversation on Target's corporate side, too, because the company announced that it would be "moving away from gender-based signs." Explaining that signs can help shoppers find what they're looking for when they're shopping for someone they don't know well, an announcement on their corporate site added "we never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented" (which was the case presented by Abi's tweet). And so:

"Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance. For example, in the kids' Bedding area, signs will no longer feature suggestions for boys or girls, just kids. In the Toys aisles, we'll also remove reference to gender, including the use of pink, blue, yellow or green paper on the back walls of our shelves. You'll see these changes start to happen over the next few months."

Of course the reactions on both sides have been strong, but at the very least can we all applaud not separating building blocks into boys and girls sections?