The London department store Harrods has revealed a new layout for its toy section that takes away some of the emphasis on shelves strictly separated into “boy toys” and “girl toys.”
Shed, a design firm based in London and Singapore, redesigned the toy store into more of an open space that doesn’t have distinctly pink or blue sections, but integrates toys into “zones” like an enchanted forest and a candy shop. Some toy zones are still vaguely grouped by items, like dress-up clothes or space toys.
The whole masterpiece is called Toy Kingdom. You can check out some pictures of the design from Shed here.
Jezebel posted about this a couple days ago and some commenters seem pretty dissatisfied with media considering this redesign to be “gender-neutral.” On one hand, it’s refreshing not to have a store clearly divided into dolls and trucks. On the other hand, there are obviously still some toys that are grouped together in gendered ways, though this is probably based on similarities between toys as well as what kids traditionally prefer to play with.
What say you? What are the benefits to gender-neutral toy stores? How can other stores do a better job of laying out their space to avoid strict gender lines?