‘We Hear You': Target to Eliminate Gender-Based Signs in Some Departments

Say goodbye to “girls’ building sets” and “boys’ bedding.”

Target announced Friday that it is eliminating gender-based signs in some of its departments, a change prompted by social media backlash over separate aisles distinguishing toys for girls and boys.

“Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender,” the company said in a blog post on its corporate website. “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.”

The change comes after an Ohio mom called out Target’s gender designation in its toy department. Abi Bechtel tweeted a picture of a toy aisle sign that distinguished “Girls’ Building Sets” from regular “Building Sets.” Public reaction to the post was swift.

The Minneapolis-based retail giant said that in the past shoppers have said that signage by brand, age or gender helped them "find things faster." But the company said shopping preferences change and suggested products by gender in some departments is “unnecessary.”

"We heard you, and we agree," Target said.

Signs in the kids' bedding area will address children as a group instead of featuring suggestions for boys or girls. Target also said it will remove pink, blue, yellow and green paper on the walls of its toy shelves that indicate a gender. The new changes, which will also be applied to the Home and Entertainment departments, is expected to be phased out over the next few months.

“We never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented,” Target's statement read.  

Although some have criticized Target for the removal of gender-based signs, many are applauding the company for moving away from such gender stereotypes. 

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