G.I. Joe, meet Barbie. Barbie, meet G.I. Joe.
A change in labeling — and thinking — by Target stores means that Joe and Barbie can at last share the same shelves after years of “boys” and “girls” departments kept them separated.
The retail giant announced that it will be removing gender-based signage from certain sections of the store, including kids bedding and toys.
“Some guests have brought up some valid questions along the way of—was the level of signage that we had necessary? Did they actually help or was it something we should reconsider?” Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, told Patch.
“There wasn’t really a defining moment necessarily, but we got to a point where we said, you know what, there are a few areas of the store where it just doesn’t make sense, where we just wanted to have a more gender-neutral approach.”
The changes will be especially apparent in kids sections, where monster trucks and makeup kits have traditionally been labeled for boys or girls.
Children’s bedding will now be under one label, too, with football- and princess-themed spreads in the same section.
Also out the door will be color labels. Target used pink and yellow for girls toys and blue and green for boys toys.
The changes are being made to encourage children to choose on their own what they want to play with, instead of having a sign do it for them.
“Certainly we want to make sure that our stores and company in general are places where people feel included and also like they’re able to shop and feel like they’re a part of the experience,” Snyder said.
“So that’s really what this is about.”
Arguably the most outspoken complaint came from Abi Bechtel on Twitter, who noted toy signage that separated “Building Sets” from “Girls’ Building Sets.” It was retweeted nearly 3,000 times.
“Those are now just ‘building sets,’” Snyder said.
What won’t be changing are gender tags and categories online.
“One of the top ways that people search dot-com when they’re searching for toys for a child is to sort by gender,” Snyder said. “So that’s going to stay there.”
And, like in most any major change, there was some backlash, too.
Users wrote in the Facebook comments underneath the Target announcement that the company was just “pandering to the liberal idealogs [sic]” and “won’t be spending 1 dime in Target anymore.”
Still, Snyder said the response has been “overwhelmingly positive.”
“We certainly recognize that by making these changes that people would have a variety of opinions about that, and we certainly respect those,” she said.
“But the changes we’ve made we feel good about, and we’ve heard a really positive response from our guests.”
|Chowchilla News Day
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