Boots corrects razor and eye cream prices following accusations of ‘sexist pricing’


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Boots corrects razor and eye cream prices following accusations of ‘sexist pricing’

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Beauty retailer Boots has responded to accusations of ‘sexist pricing’ on personal care products saying that it has never operated a discriminatory pricing system and is correcting the prices of its razors and eye cream as these were ‘exceptional cases.’

The response comes after a petition by Stevie Wise​ raised concerns about the price difference between equivalent men's and women's toiletries found in the UK store, and called on Boots CEO to review ‘sexist pricing.’

In the petition, Wise highlights that Boots eye cream sells for £9.99 for women and £7.29 for men while razors were £2.29 for eight women's razors and £1.49 for a pack of 10 for men. (At the time of writing the petition has 42,117 supporters).

Review and corrections

On its website Boots released a statement​ in response stating that it has never operated a pricing system that discriminates against women and was surprised and disappointed to see recent examples make headlines.

“We are committed to offering all of our customers great value and quality, we have clear pricing principles that ensure all of our products are priced individually based on a range of factors including formulation, ingredients, and market comparison,”​ it says.

“We immediately conducted a review on all Boots own brand and proprietary ranges to better understand the cited examples.”

“This review has reassured us that for Boots own brands the two reported examples, Boots disposable razors and Botanics eye roll on, are indeed exceptional cases which do not completely meet our principles and we are taking action to correct these prices.”

The retailer adds that following the review of Boots Own brand ranges, it is also speaking to its suppliers to ask them to conduct similar reviews of their brands.

“However we cannot comment further on their pricing – that would be a matter for the brands themselves,”​ it adds.

Pink premium?

This story comes at a time when there has been increased scrutiny, particularly in the UK, over women paying more than men for almost identical items, in a wide range of different categories.

An investigation by British newspaper, The Times​, found price disparities across hundreds of gender-targeted items, including beauty products, with those marketed at women reportedly 37% more expensive on average.

UK women’s charity, The Fawcett Society describes this as a sexist surcharge for women, and Maria Miller, chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, called the findings ‘unacceptable’.

Related topics Business & Financial