Target is announcing it will give shoppers a more gender-neutral experience, as it looks to get rid of boy and girl-related signs in toy and bedding aisles. The change is coming in response to a post that has gained favor on Twitter from a mom, TIME writer and blogger, criticizing the retailer for specifying which toys were meant for girls or boys.
In addition to removing reference to gender on some signs, Target says it will stop using pink and blue on shelves with items targeted to boys or girls.
But not everybody is happy. Religious groups and some shoppers say removing references to gender in signage is confusing, especially as they shop for grandchildren or look to quickly find items. How far will you let it go? boys / girls use same color, remove male / female signs from restrooms?, asks one customer.
“We recognize by coming out and making these couple of changes that people are going to have a wide variety of opinions,” said Molly Snyder, Target’s group manager for public relations. “We expected and respect that. The response from the guests has been overwhelmingly positive.”
We think angst over new gender-neutral signage at Target will pass, and more importantly, Target’s response shows it is listening and responding to its customers needs and being overt about their own values. No brand can appeal to every customer. As a brand targeting individuals seeking a greater sense of freedom and higher purpose, Target is listening to and focusing on the needs of its key audiences. We applaud them for that.