Target Announces it is ‘Phasing Out’ Gender-Based Signs in 1,779 Stores

Margaret Knapp | August 12, 2015 | 2:37pm EDT
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( -- Target Corporation has announced that its 1,779 stores in the U.S. will be “moving away” from what it calls “unnecessary” gender-based signs.

“Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender,” Target stated In a press release last Friday.

The giant retailer - which did $72.6 billion in sales last year, according to its latest annual report - pointed out that the signs and displays are there to make it easier for guests to navigate the store and shop more efficiently.

But it added that it never wants customers to feel “frustrated or limited by the way things are presented.”

“As guests have pointed out, in some departments like Toys, Home or Entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary,” according to the press release. “Our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance.”

“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,” the statement continued.

However, Target stated that it will not be removing gender-based signs in Apparel, where “it makes sense” because there are “fit and sizing differences” between the sexes.

“Historically, guests have told us that sometimes—for example, when shopping for someone they don’t know well—signs that sort by brand, age or gender help them get ideas and find things faster,” Target added, “but we know that shopping preferences and needs change.”

The move to eliminate gender-based signs in Target stores nationwide was sparked when Abi Bechtel, a self-described feminist and mother from Ohio, tweeted a photo in June featuring signage distinguishing between “building sets” and “girl’s building sets” in her local Target’s Toys section.

Customers and Facebook users took to social media to express their opposing views on Target’s controversial new policy:


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