Our supporters have identified Center Parcs on-site toyshops as among the worst offenders for gender labelling toys.
Their ‘Just Kids’ toy shops, run by Swiss company Nuance Group, don’t just label toys for boys and girls, but for ‘Just Boys’ and ‘Just Girls’. Nice.
Our letter to Center Parcs
Dear Mr Dalby,
Let Toys be Toys is a group of parents and other concerned adults who believe that marketing toys specifically to boys or girls is both unhelpful to the customer and damaging to the child.
On recent visits to Center Parcs, our members and supporters were disappointed to find signs in Just Kids segregating toys into “Just Girls” and “Just Boys”. Regular visitors to Center Parcs tell us that these signs are new and the shops previously had a good mix of toys throughout the shop. We are writing now to ask you to remove these gendered signs from your stores. We believe that such labelling limits the imaginations and aspirations of children, and we ask that you categorise your toys according to age, theme or function, rather than by gender.
Our campaign has significant support from parents who refuse to shop where ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ signs can be found. Over 5,000 people have signed our petition and we have nearly 3,000 followers on Twitter. Comments on social media relating specifically to Center Parcs include:
“This is appalling. We regularly go to Elveden but will now reconsider.”
“The ‘just’ makes it 1000 times worse. Does a child have to read a toy they want is *not* for them?”
“Awful. We go to Center Parcs every yr. Maybe won’t again until this gets changed.”
“In what way is a “boy’s toy” gender specific? Calling it that makes girls feel abnormal for liking them.”
“It is heartbreaking that young impressionable minds will see that this summer and not realise it’s nonsense!”
“The ‘just’ sections are some of the worst gender divisions I’ve seen. Not for girls. JUST GIRLS.”
Let Toys Be Toys believe that changes to the way toys are marketed can present positive opportunities for the retailer, in addition to achieving our objectives of expanding the horizons of all children. We positively promote those who support our ambition of marketing toys in ways that do not limit the imagination or aspirations of children (for more information, please visit our website www.188.8.131.52/lettoysbetoys.org.uk) and would be happy to endorse Center Parcs if appropriate changes to toy marketing take place.
We would be very interested to meet with you to discuss our findings and offer our advice and recommendations. We look forward to hearing from you.
Let Toys Be Toys