Concerns over unisex changing rooms

Mandarin woman speaks about experience at Target

By Scott Johnson - Reporter , Elizabeth Berry

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Mandarin mother is speaking out about her experience in Target after recently taking her daughter bathing suit shopping in the Target on San Jose Boulevard.

Rose Marie Preddy told Channel 4 when she went to check on her daughter, Sarah, in the changing area of Target, she found a man in the area who was also using the dressing room.

Preddy said the worker at the store told her that the changing area had recently become unisex in order to accommodate both genders.

"I was totally surprised. The fitting room is in the corner by the maternity department, and I told her, 'Go try on a couple bathing suits, I'll be back in a few minutes.' Tradition is these fitting rooms are separated by male and female," said Preddy. "I didn't feel comfortable at all. I feel like there might be chances of them looking over. I don't feel comfortable with it."

Preddy told Channel 4 she had been to the Target on San Jose Boulevard many times, and until recently changing areas were separated by gender.


"That was so unacceptable, completely blindsided by it," said Preddy.

Channel 4's Scott Johnson contacted Target on Tuesday night. Its media spokesperson responded to Channel 4's inquiries about the unisex changing areas through a statement, saying:

"Different Target stores have different fitting room layouts. The store you inquired about does have a unisex fitting room. The safety and security of our guests is a top priority for Target. We prefer to work with our guests directly, and guests can contact Guest Relations at 1-800-440-0680 to discuss any claims or concerns."

"They're obviously not looking for our business. They're looking for someone else's business, but it's obviously not going to be teenage girls and the moms," said Preddy.

Channel 4 would like to clarify that the men inside the changing area at the time Preddy and her daughter were there were not doing anything wrong and are not accused of any crime. Preddy was simply bothered by the Target's new policy to have a unisex changing area.

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