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The New Gender-Neutral Toy Department at Harrods Sounds Like a Magical Place

Illustration for article titled The New Gender-Neutral Toy Department at Harrods Sounds Like a Magical Place

Harrods, the London department store famed both for its expansiveness and the ease with which an guileless tourist toting an oversized bag can be unceremoniously tossed out of its doors, unveiled its first gender-neutral department store last week, and, if you're into toys (if you think you're not, now would be a great time to stop lying to yourself), this new addition will prove spectacular. Seriously — the stuffed animals are huge and there's enough candy to keep a whole county of dentists busy for seven years.

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For the toy store redesign, Harrods commissioned London and Singapore-based interior designers Shed, who boast a particular expertise in retail spaces. Instead of partitioning the toy department by gendered gatherings of toys, Shed created what it's calling "retail entertainment" — the department sprawls over several thematic "zones," including an enchanted forest, a miniature toy world, circus big top and a sweet shop. The unveiling of the new toy department coincided pretty perfectly with the Olympics, so we can all expect that lucky parents from all over the world had the privilege of spending the equivalent of a business-class ticket back to their home countries on oversized trinkets that can't be easily transported on commercial airplanes. That's okay, though! A child's fleeting happiness has no price.

Shed create gender-neutral toy department at Harrods [Dezeen]

Harrods unveils its first gender-neutral toy department [Smart Planet]

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DISCUSSION

shinyredrobot
Shiny Chrome Witnessedbot

Sounds lovely. Of course, our local, locally-owned toy store has been gender-neutral in design for the past 6 years (ie, its entire existence), and the design here sounds pretty similar to theirs, if much bigger and with an exponentially larger budget. http://www.pufferbelliestoys.com/ It is, without a doubt, the best store EVER. Good luck to Harrods. Hopefully, more stores will see that this is a better way.