Sexist pricing in our supermarkets revealed

New research today published by the Fawcett Society reveals that sexist pricing is widespread on our high streets with the UK’s biggest supermarkets – Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons’ charging women more for own brand toiletries and items of clothing. Sexist pricing hit the news earlier this year when campaigner Stevie Wise successfully persuaded Boots to change the prices of some of its products.

An analysis of a basket of the supermarkets’ own brand toiletries revealed that products that were gendered (for example with white and pink packaging for women or black and blue for men) are consistently more expensive. Women are paying on average 31% more for an own brand basket of comparable toiletries. These products are also often separated in stores making it harder for consumers to compare prices.

In a basket of own-brand products including triple blade disposable razors, shaving cream, spray-on antiperspirant deodorant and body spray, the gap ranged from products costing 22% more in ASDA to a whopping 56% more in Morrisons.

A basket of own brand gendered toiletries costs:

  • 56% more for women at Morrisons
  • 25% more for women at Sainsbury’s
  • 24% more for women at Tesco
  • 22% more for women at Asda

The research also revealed that overall women are paying 12%, an average of £4.33, more for a basket of own brand clothing items across the retailers. The gender price gap on a basket of clothes was lowest at Asda where women pay 4% (£1) more than men for the basket of comparable items, and the gap was highest at Sainsbury’s where women pay 22% (£9.50) more. For one item – formal black trousers – researchers found that men were paying more. However, when averaged out across the basket of goods it was still women who were left out of pocket.

Read the full press release here.

Read the full report here.

Listen to our Chair, Belinda Phipps, discussing the issues on Share Radio.

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