Just a fifth of stores still use gendered labeling

Gender signage reduced by 60% in 2013, says Let Toys Be Toys

A survey by Let Toys Be Toys has indicated that ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ signs are falling out of favour in toy stores.

Throughout November, Let Toys Be Toys supporters across the UK and Ireland carried out a survey designed to analyse the impact of the group’s campaign.

The survey has found that the proportion of shops using ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ signs has reduced by 60 per cent compared to last Christmas when the campaign began, dropping from half of all shops to just a fifth today.

Hobbycraft topped the list of stores not relying on gender marketing, while ToyMaster came second and Fenwick third.

Fenwick, Debenhams and TK Max were names as the most improved, with Morrisons, and supermarkets in general, coming out as the worst.

“While there’s still a long way to go to address sexism in the toy industry, the changes in major retail chains like Debenhams are just brilliant to see," said Kerry Brennan,?one of the founders of Let?Toys?Be?Toys.

"They’ve replaced pink and blue ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ signs with new colourful signs that say ‘Vehicles’, ‘Superheroes’, ‘Soft Toys’, and ‘TV Characters’, among others.

"Everything is much easier to find and children are no longer being sent the message that science and adventure are only for boys, crafts and nurturing play only for girls.

“Through the grass roots efforts of a small group of dedicated volunteers, the support of over ten thousand parents and educators, and the willingness of many retailers to listen to the concerns of their customers, a year after the campaign began we can clearly see the difference that consumer voices are making on this issue.”

Of the fourteen major retailers contacted by the Let Toys Be Toys campaign in 2013, seven have removed ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ signage from shop floors (Hobbycraft, Boots, TK Maxx, The Entertainer, Debenhams, Fenwick, Next) and five are in the process of doing so (Toys R Us, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons).

The full Let Toys Be Toys Survey Report and Review of 2013 is available here.

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