Tesco cuts cost of women's razors to match men's following pressure over 'sexist' pricing

The supermarket giant was criticised for charging women twice as much

Rachel Roberts
Monday 02 January 2017 19:58
Tesco has announced it is cutting the cost of women's razors following complaints of 'sexist' pricing
Tesco has announced it is cutting the cost of women's razors following complaints of 'sexist' pricing

Tesco has cut the price of women’s razors to bring them in line with the cost of men’s, in a move being hailed as a victory for equality campaigners.

The supermarket was criticised alongside other leading retailers following an investigation last year which highlighted the discrepancy between charges for many male and female products of the same brand and size.

In the case of its own brand razors, Tesco was charging £2 for a five pack of women’s twin blade razors – and just £1 for the men’s equivalent.

In a letter to Labour MP Paula Sherriff, Tesco said: “Following an internal review and discussions with our suppliers, we have acted on concerns about the differences in price of our male and female disposable twin-blade razors.”

Tesco claimed the previous price difference was due to “the fact that male razors are produced and sold in significantly higher volumes, which reduces the price we pay for them.”

Ms Sherriff, a vocal opponent of the so-called “tampon tax” on women’s sanitary products, said on Twitter: “Really pleased with this result. Chipping away at gender pricing bit by bit. Watch out retailers – I’m coming for you!”

A newspaper investigation last year found that from the cradle to the grave, there is a premium charged for being female, with products targeted at women and girls priced on average 37 per cent more than male equivalents.

Some of the products tested, which included razors and pens, appeared to charge a premium simply for being pink.

However, research done by The Independent found a more nuanced picture, with some male products – particularly for skin care – costing significantly more than their feminine equivalents.

Sainsbury’s own brand men’s and women’s razors are priced equally per unit for comparable products – but Asda and Morrisons own branded razors can still work out cheaper for men than for women as they are sold in bigger packs, reducing their price per unit.

The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality, asked the “big four” supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – to review their pricing policies in light of its own investigation last year.

It also called for the development of more “gender neutral” options in toiletries.

Responding to pressure from campaigners, retailer Boots adjusted its pricing on a variety of products including razors and eye cream last year. Superdrug also announced a review into its pricing of “gendered” products.

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