Kids visiting Target will no longer have to consider their gender while shopping.
The retailer announced Friday it will start removing gender-based labeling in several departments — including toys, bedding and entertainment — around the store. The company says the decision comes after feedback and suggestions from customers.
“As guests have pointed out, in some departments like toys, home or entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary,” reads a statement from Target. “We heard you, and we agree. 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 decision will change elements beyond just the signage in these departments. In the children’s toys area of the store, Target plans to remove pink, blue, yellow and green paper on the back of the walls to eliminate references or suggestions based on gender.
The company said Target uses signs and displays to make it easier for guests to navigate the store and shop more efficiently. However, gender-based signs in certain areas was no longer necessary.
“We never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented,” the statement said.
The move comes after Abi Bechtel, a mother from Ohio, tweeted a photo in June of gender-based signage at a Green, Ohio, Target that sparked a conversation on gender-based signs in the retail stores.
— Abi Bechtel (@abianne) June 1, 2015
“It stood out to me as a good example of the way our culture tends to view boys and men as the default, normal option and girls and women as the specialized exception,” Bechtel told CNN in June.
Customers and Facebook users expressed their views on the statement, signaling satisfaction and disappointment with the retail store.
“This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard,” wrote John Wilson. “A boy is a boy and a girl is a girl…and products are specifically made for each.”
“Target is not saying that genders don’t exist,” wrote Amy Severtsen Stanwood. “They are simply recognizing that toys and bedding do not have genders. Mingling superhero action figures with other dolls isn’t going to cause children to suddenly question who/what they are.”