Gender Neutral Merchandising for Boutiques: Language

Every Bean is a single brand, but we believe in educating and helping all of the boutiques we work with and partners we have to adopt non gendered merchandising and displays for children's clothing and toys. Yes, large stores like Target have recently adopted a less gendered display system, but how do the little guys do it? Here's step one in a three part series on how to handle your merchandising and displays as a small store or boutique. Click here for a full document on tips you can use

Step One: Remove Gendered Language 

1. Remove labeling from signs. This is one of the most straight forward steps.

Easy: Any store-created signs labeling a section as "girls" or "boys", should be removed. For example, "Boy Pants" and "Girl Dresses". Change them to simply "Pants" and "Dresses". 

Moderate: Remove display-top signs that use "boy", "girl", or gendered pronouns. For example, if you have a display rack with a sale sign on top reading "50% off girl hats", remove the "girl" and leave the discount. If you have a vendor-provided display with brand signage including text or tag lines that have gendered language, either ask for a sign with a logo/brand name only, or ask if during your next order you could have a sign without the gendered language to better fit the feel of your store. Remember, your buying power is often going to speak louder than any opinions the brand representative might have. 

Advanced: We all love fancy packaging and no one is going to deny the selling power of a product with perfect labels, bright pink velvet hangers and hang tags that double as doll cutouts. Once you've already covered the easy and moderate steps to removing gendered language, this is your next place to look, no matter how painful it is. Either spend one day reviewing all current products, or, start from this point forward. If you go with the latter option, ask for a sample of packaging and display materials before placing another order with any of your vendors and review each item before confirming your next purchase. Hang tags that have tag lines that use gendered language like, "Pants that withstand rowdy boys" or "Quality girls' clothing," should be tossed out or altered. If those pink velvet hangers say "she wears pink", it may be time to ask for non-labeled versions of those same hangers.