Tesco Says No More "Pink Tax" 

January 03, 2017

Gender inequality has been proven on the retail level, and Tesco is responding with fair pricing for women.

We are a few weeks away from what some say could be the largest mobilization in response to an election ever - the Million Woman March on Washington. That’s no small statement for American women and the progression of gender equality. But did you know that a study this year showed that gender inequality exists in pricing in the retail world? And these differences can be quite significant for women. 

In a response to what is considered unnecessary higher prices based on gender, Tesco’s commercial director for packaged products has announced that after reviewing prices of gendered products, the pricing is based on demand. Simply, more men buy razors, so prices can remain lower. However, the chain still plans to lower the price of female razors to prove they are committed to consistent affordable pricing. 

In the United States, in early 2016, a study titled “From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer,” conducted by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs tracked price discrepancies in otherwise identical products that were marketed to male and female consumers. After analyzing the prices of almost 800 products across 35 categories, researchers found that the so-called “pink tax” proves that women pay more for almost every product over the course of their lives.

Of all of the industries examined, the highest premiums for women were in personal care products, costing, on average 13 percent more than personal care products for men. The average bottle of shampoo/conditioner for a woman was $8.39 while the average for a man’s was $5.68. And in the case of razors, the average cost for women was $8.90 as compared to men’s razors averaging $7.99.

While Tesco’s representative could be correct in their case in suggesting the price difference isn’t related to sexism, it’s simply supply and demand, we here at The Lempert Report applaud the chain for making the price cut to show support for their women shoppers. It will be interesting to see if any U.S. chains will follow their lead, particularly in light of this month's political climate when it comes to women's rights.