Fashion

The pink price tax: women's products cost more than identical men's items, study finds

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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A new study has found that women are charged more - sometimes double - than men for similar products on the British high street.

Items such as deodorants, razors and jeans from retailers including Boots, Amazon and Tesco are sold at higher costs according to research by The Times

The study analysed hundreds of items including clothes, toys and beauty products, and found that, on average, the products marketed at women were 37% more expensive.

In one case, Tesco was found to charge double the price for ten disposable razors, the only apparent difference being that they are pink.

The same sized Levi's 501 jeans for women were also found to be 46% more expensive than the men's version.

At Boots, 100ml of Chanel’s Allure spray deodorant for women is £30 while the men’s edition is £23.50.

Woman shopping

"Our products are priced based on factors including formulation, ingredients and market comparison," said a Boots spokesperson. 

A Tesco spokesman said, "We work hard to offer clear, fair and transparent pricing. A number of products for females have additional design and performance features. We continually review our pricing strategy."

Brands such as Bic and Argos are also under fire. The former's "for her" black ink ballpoints with pastel-coloured barrels cost £2.99, while the same five black ink pens in transparent cost £1.98. Meanwhile, Argos' pink scooters are £5 more expensive than those in blue.

Maria Miller, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, told The Times: "It is unacceptable that women face higher costs for the same products just because they are targeted at women.

"Retailers have got to explain why they do this. At a time when we should be moving towards a more de-gendered society, retailers are out of step with public opinion."

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

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