Shoppers slam Next for ‘ridiculous’ footwear range for kids

Next is facing a huge backlash from shoppers who have slammed the way it has divided its new range into girls and boys.

The high street retailer, which is usually a favourite among parents, is now being asked to get rid of its gender labelling altogether.

One shopper, Fionna O'Leary took to Twitter to ask why a pair of 'Girls Next Rainbow striped wellies' and 'Boys Next navy rainbow dinosaur' shoes' had been split up into genders. Her tweet read: "Just wondering @nextofficial what the difference is between a boys rainbow and a girls?"

The MEN reports others then joined in the questioning and added their own concerns over the gender labelling.

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Twitter user @MrsCatherine1 said: "Those spiny rainbow dino shoes are so cool! My daughter would love them @nextofficial. Are they available in the ‘girls’ section too? Or better yet, can we just do away with these tired, pointless prescriptions, divisions and gender labels and #letclothesbeclothes? Please?"

And, @miabubble added: "My daughter has those trainers and my son those wellies! Didn’t even clock that they were labelled as for girls or boys. So ridiculous!"

Speaking to the MEN, Francesa Mallen, a group member for the Let Clohes Be Clothes group, who aim to end gender stereotyping across childrenswear said: "Rainbow motifs are a common design in clothes and accessories sold to girls, whereas boys are often told to accept dark, dull colours.

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"There is also a hint of homophobia that boys are often denied the commonplace Pride emblem, but I feel Next have tried to navigate this obviously dicey territory with the biggest and scariest of all of nature's sore losers – the dinosaur.

"It would be truly wonderful to see a simple rainbow design marketed to boys, because you have to ask – why wouldn't some boys, like some girls, like lots of colour on their footwear?"

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A spokesperson for Next said: "The functionality of the website means that customers shop by separating out women, men, boys and girls, home etc.

"There isn't the functionality to combine these searches into children. However, if you search rainbow – both boys and girls products are listed."