A new California law will require big retailers to create gender-neutral departments for some toys and childcare items, signaling an increasing shift away from gender labels by younger consumers.
The legislation, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom over the weekend, is the first of its kind in the U.S. By the start of 2024, retailers with 500 or more employees in the state have to maintain gender-neutral sections for a “reasonable” amount of kids items. Clothing isn’t included. Retailers that fail to comply may face fines of as much as $500 per store.
Even before California took this step, companies had been tweaking how they merchandise products for kids. In 2015, Target stopped displaying gender-based signs on its children’s departments.