Cleanup in Aisle 6.
On Friday, Target, the Minneapolis-based budget retail chain, announced on its website that it will dispense with its sexist “gender-based signage to help strike a better balance.” Between what and what it doesn’t say.
Here is part of the announcement:
[We] never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are
resentedpresented. Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender. In some cases, like apparel, where there are fit and sizing differences, it makes sense. In others, it may not. 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. But we know that shopping preferences and needs change and, as guests have pointed out, in some departments like Toys, Home or Entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary.
The crusade to get the mega-retailer to bend to pressure to change its signage began with an Ohio mother named Abi Bechtel, who tweeted a message on June 1 that was favorited nearly 3,000 times:
— Abi Bechtel (@abianne) June 1, 2015
Initially, the company’s response was that “guests preferred having a variety of indicators that can help inform and guide their shopping trip.” Spokeswoman Molly Snyder went on to say:
We know families are tight on time and looking for inspiration. Therefore, we continually explore how to organize our stores and website in ways that will be convenient, appealing and helpful to our guests Additionally, on Target.com, when guests shop for toys, they most often begin their search by sorting toys by brand, age and gender.
That was then. This is now.
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