Retailers stand out by vetoing the ‘pink tax’
Female consumers are wising up to the gender-based pricing discrepancies on some of their favorite products. For a long time, women have been paying a premium on everything from toddler’s clothing to adult diapers. The additional cost that retailers tack on to goods geared towards women is also referred to as the “pink tax” and an increasing number of female consumers are seeking out products from brands that don’t charge more for women’s goods.
As it stands, USA Today reports that retailers charge:
- Four percent more for girl’s clothing;
- Seven percent more for girl’s toys and accessories;
- Eight percent more for women’s clothing; and
- 13 percent more for women’s personal care products.
It is estimated that women pay an average of $1,351 more per year on basic goods. To add insult to injury, many retailers also jack up the price of plus-sized women’s clothing. Consider also that women make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, and that 67 percent of U.S. women fall into the category of plus-sized.
As consumer awareness about the pink tax grows, women around the world are refusing to pay more for basic goods and opting to buy men’s products instead, as they’re usually made with nearly the same ingredients. In addition, events and panels about eliminating the pink tax are popping up in cities around the U.S., such as the recent “Ax the Pink Tax” event in Miami, Florida.
Retailers are beginning to take notice. Boxed.com, for instance, publicly refuted the pink tax and now absorbs the additional costs of women’s goods instead of passing excess charges along to female consumers.
“The response from customers has been great,” Nitasha Mehta, associate director of marketing at Boxed, told CBS News. “It’s been a pretty significant increase in sales.”
Female consumers’ unwillingness to pay the pink tax is also creating a window for startups aiming to offer women’s products without the pricing disparity charged by traditional retailers. Subscription razor company Billie, for instance, was founded with the notion of offering women shaving products at the same price points as male subscription shaving services.
TechCrunch reports that, “While many services and products aimed at women, including clothing, haircuts and essential toiletries, are often more expensive than similar (or even near-identical) goods marketed to men, razors and dry cleaning are ‘the two worst offenders.’”
- Women Pay a Hidden ‘Pink Tax’ on Almost Everything – Here’s Why – Vox
- ‘Pink Tax’ Means Women Still Pay More for Goods and Services – USA Today
- Why Men Need to Believe in the Wage Gap – CNN Money
- Latinas Raise Their Voices to Axe the Pink Tax – People Chica
- For Women, the Enduring Problem of the ’Pink Tax’ – CBS News
- Billie, Which Wants to Eliminate the ‘Pink Tax,’ Closes a $6m Seed Round for Its Razor Subscription Service – TechCrunch
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see an opportunity for retailers to connect with their female consumers by eliminating the pricing disparity on women’s goods, such as apparel, children’s toys and personal care products? Is the positive publicity generated by eliminating the pink tax worth absorbing these costs?