John Lewis has come under fire from a dad who criticised the store for for labelling a space-themed lunchbox just for ‘boys’.
Dad and politician Joshua Peck shared a picture of a space-themed lunchbox, covered in planets, rockets and space rovers, on his Twitter account. While this would be a nice lunchbox for a boy or girl, Joshua also showed the label, which specifically says it’s for boys.
He hit out at the retailers on Twitter, arguing that the label implies that it’s the lunchbox’s space design that must make it not for girls.
He said: ‘Hey @johnlewisretail. What is it about this lunchbox which makes it unsuitable for my daughter. Too sciency?’
This isn’t the first time the councillor has criticised the shop for gender stereotyping children’s products and toys. Joshua also shared a tweet from 2013 when he asked John Lewis why they named one of their toys a ‘Boys Pirate Ship’.
Joshua’s criticism stuck a chord on Twitter, with many others sending in their messages of support. One user pointed out that this is especially disappointing considering John Lewis has just appointed its first female Managing Director.
Others have also shared pictures of their daughters dressed as astronauts, to show that a space-themed lunchbox shouldn’t just be for boys.
Another mum voiced her criticism, saying: ‘grrr. My girls currently in their (boys) space pjs sleeping under a ceiling solar system.’
However, John Lewis have responded to the outcry, tweeting Joshua and calling the lunchbox label a ‘mistake’.
A spokesperson also assured parents that this was a one-off error and not a result of gender stereotyping.
Speaking to HuffPost UK, they said: ‘We’re really sorry that a one-off labelling error meant that our Space Print School Lunchbox was marked incorrectly.
‘We’re looking into correcting these labels as soon as we can. We understand the importance of providing girls and boys with as much choice as possible, and in recent years we’ve changed our childrenswear and toy ranges so that they’re not categorised by gender.’