According to research conducted by Boxed.com, an online retailer that sells products in bulk, women are charged an often substantial premium on personal care items. The retailer is taking a stand against the “pink tax” by lowering the cost of feminine products to balance out the difference.
The “pink tax” refers to items marketed to women that cost more than their marketed-to-male counterparts. This means women pay:
- 108% more for razors;
- 8% more for deodorant;
- 10% more for body wash; and
- 5% more for shaving gel.
Additionally, feminine hygiene products fall under the “luxury” tax designation in 39 states, which means there is a 9% sales tax for items such as pads and tampons. These rates add insult to injury considering that women earn about 80 cents for every dollar men earn.
“Our team took a hard look at some of the products offered on Boxed and realized that many female products cost significantly more than their male equivalents on a per ounce or per unit basis, and in some states feminine products are charged a luxury tax,” said Chieh Huang, CEO and Founder of Boxed in a statement. “This just didn’t make sense to our team, and when it was brought to senior management’s attention, we immediately decided this was an issue we wanted to help bring to the forefront and take action.”
Boxed will be lowering the sales tax amount from the list price on items subject to the luxury tax. The retailer will also reduce the cost of women’s products where the price is shown to be greater than the male equivalent. The company hopes to start a trend and encourage other retailers to do the same.
“We are taking a firm position in an effort to correct these gender pricing wrongs even if we take a hit on margin, because we hope that this small change will be the catalyst to a great win in equality,” said Huang.
At a time where the retail industry is facing scrutiny for issues such as the plus-sized debate, it will be interesting to see if more retailers follow in Boxed.com’s footsteps.