'Girls' Toys' and 'Boys Toys'at Morrisons in Guiseley

Morrisons – most gendered toy retailer

Despite a promise last year to change their toy signage Morrisons came out of our pre-Christmas survey as the worst culprit for using gender to sell toys.

We’ve written to Morrisons, asking them to reconsider their toy signs.

Morrison’s told us in June via Twitter that they would be taking down their ‘Boys Toys’ and ‘Girls Toys’ signs, saying “We’re really sorry about this. Please be assured that all the old signage is being updated.”

However, they came out as the worst offender for gendered marketing in our 2013 toyshop survey, with the old signs still in widespread use, or replaced by identical pink and blue signs with the words ‘Boys’ and ‘Girls’ removed – not much of a step forward as they still tell children there are two kinds of toys, pink ones and blue ones…

We sent them a copy of the report and asked for their response – see our letter below. We haven’t yet had a reply.

After: The old signs are still up in many stores. Some branches now have these signs. We don't think this is much of an improvement.  (Bolton, November 2013, supplied by @JoshHapless)

After: The old signs are still up in many stores. Some branches now have these signs. We don’t think this is much of an improvement. (Bolton, November 2013, supplied by @JoshHapless)

Please let Morrisons know what you think, and do email or tweet us @LetToysBeToys photos of any instore signage you see.

Email Morrisons using their online customer services form.

Morrisons facebook page

Our letter to Morrisons

Customer Service Department
Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC
Hilmore House
Gain Lane
08 January 2014

Dear Sir / Madam,

Let Toys Be Toys is a grassroots campaign who are asking retailers and manufacturers to stop promoting some toys as only for girls and others as only for boys.

Along with thousands of supporters, we know that boys and girls have interests in common. We believe that deliberately narrowing a child’s toy choices is confusing for children and can be detrimental to their development.

You may be aware that we had a conversation with you on Twitter in April about the way you use in-store signs to separate toys for girls and boys. You responded “We’re really sorry about this! Please be assured all of the old signage is currently being updated”.

We are very pleased to see that Morrisons are taking this issue seriously but are disappointed that many “girls” and “boys” signs remain in stores. Additionally, in the stores that have been updated you continue to group toys separately according to gender and use pink / blue colour coding on your signage to indicate to children that the sections are intended for girls and boys. In our recent survey of UK and Irish retailers we were disappointed to see Morrisons named the most divisive retailer for these reasons. We have included a copy of the report with this letter.

Many major retailers have worked with us this year to ensure their marketing strategy is inclusive to both boys and girls including Toys R Us, The Entertainer, Debenhams, Fenwick, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Next, Boots, Marks and Spencer, TK Maxx and Wilkinson. We would very much like to meet to discuss a way forward and to suggest some innovative marketing ideas of our own.

We can be contacted on the e-mail address above and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Let Toys Be Toys
Enc ‘Let Toys Be Toys survey and retailers report 2013’


Top image – Morrisons Guiseley, November 2013, supplied by @seany85



  1. Good on you for continuing this campaign and following up on this particular issue with Morrisons. I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Laurel Stevens

    I posted a couple of comments on Morrisons facebook page yesterday and today and there have been a few negative replies. Maybe some of you could help me out by joining in with your two pence worth? I don’t want to look like the only one arguing this side of the case!

  3. why take down there own signs? do they not want to sell any toy products?

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