We wrote to TK Maxx this week, asking them to drop the “girls” and “boys” signs in the toy areas of their stores.
Update 19 August 2013: Great news! TKMaxx have responded to say they will be removing all gender signs in the next month.
Original post date: 2 August 2013
Just had a great phonecall with @TKMaxx_UK ,very supportive & happy to remove boy/girl signs from stores. Should all be gone within a month!
— Let Toys Be Toys (@LetToysBeToys) August 19, 2013
Dear Sir / Madam,
Let Toys Be Toys is a grassroots consumer group campaigning to end the marketing of children’s toys in a way that is not inclusive to both boys and girls. We’re asking retailers such as yourselves to stop limiting children’s interests by promoting some toys as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys.
Our supporters were very disappointed to find “boys” and “girls” signage in your stores. For example, in your Bath store the toys signposted for boys included dinosaurs, cars and toy laptops, and those for girls only related to child-rearing and beauty. As toys are essential for children’s development, such outdated categorisations can only serve to limit opportunities for our children’s development.
Your staff in the Leyton store, however, were more broad-minded, and had shelved craft kits and dolls as “boys”. This only goes to show how subjective this issue is; it is impossible to agree on which toys should fit into each category as real children do not adhere to these stereotypes. Gendered labels are not only offensive, they are also confusing.
It is disappointing to see TK Maxx persist with gendered marketing, when so many retailers (including Boots, Tesco, The Entertainer and Next) agree that marketing toys by gender is thing of the past and have committed to change.
A rapidly growing groundswell of consumers agrees: the campaign started only eight months ago and our social media likes and follows are now approaching 10,000. We have appeared on BBC television, radio and in print media such as the Independent and Daily Mail, and you’ll find support of the campaign across the internet; if you Google us, you’ll get over 150,000 results.
We seek a commitment from you to end the practice of sexist toy marketing at TK Maxx. We can offer substantial insight to you as a representative of thousands of customers and would be delighted to meet with you to discuss how we could work together.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Let Toys Be Toys
TK Maxx sign photo: Shu Latif