The consumer action group Let Toys Be Toys scored a victory yesterday as toy retailer “The Entertainer” announced it will be dropping ‘boys toys’ and ‘girls toys’ signs from all its stores, following a sustained campaign from the group.
The new layout and signage can be seen at the Entertainer’s flagship Amersham store and will be rolled out to all their UK shops in time for Christmas 2013. Toys will be organised by themes such as ‘Action and adventure’, and ‘Games and puzzles’ instead of gender, and signage will feature pictures of boys and girls.
This is a significant change for the retailer. The Let Toys Be Toys campaign, which calls for retailers to organise toys by theme and function instead of by gender, had previously identified The Entertainer as one of the worst culprits for gendered toy segregation. Customers from across the UK joined this successful social media campaign to stop sexist stereotyping in the store.
The Entertainer is the latest in a series of stores to bow to rising consumer pressure to end the sexist marketing of toys, with Tesco and Boots also promising similar changes.
Megan Perryman, of Let Toys Be Toys said, “We commend The Entertainer for responding to consumer opinion. It’s great news that retailers are catching on that shoppers don’t want to buy sexism. In 2013 it’s time to take down the gender signs and let toys be toys, for girls and boys.”
Let Toys Be Toys is an online campaign, run and organised wholly by volunteers, calling on retailers to stop limiting children’s interests by promoting some toys as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys. See www.126.96.36.199/lettoysbetoys.org.uk for more information.
Over 6000 people have now signed the Let Toys Be Toys petition on change.org, asking retailers in the UK and Ireland to remove gender labels, and organise toys by theme and function, and the campaign has over 8000 likes/followers on social media.
The campaign has already scored successes, including convincing Boots to remove ‘Boys toys’ and ‘Girls toys’ signs from their stores. Tesco also announced yesterday that they will be removing all gender labels on toys from their website.
UPDATE: The blog post on this subject has been shared over 1,000 times, proving to be the campaign’s most popular news to date.
For photos of The Entertainer store signage and displays, see our media resources: http://lettoysbetoys.org.uk/media/