U.K’s supermarket chain, Tesco, has cut the price of women’s standard razors to equal the price of men’s razors.
Women on average pay more for beauty and hygiene products than men do. Razors are among the most marked up products, as women often pay more for the product just because it is a different colour- most often pink.
Tesco was charging twice the amount for women’s razors in its stores. The director for packaged products, Kari Daniels said that the difference in price was because male razors were sold in higher volumes, resulting in economies of scale, and lower costs for the product.
However following an internal review Tesco has aligned the prices of both male and female products by ‘reducing the cost of women’s razors and keeping the cost of men’s razors the same.’
A 2012 study from Development Economics found that women were paying 200 pounds more per year for products that were the same as men’s.
The study found that for products such as toiletries the price differentials are also based on a greater willingness to pay on the part of some female customers.
Products which are the same as men's products are packaged in a way that attributes ‘femininity’ to them through colour, scent etc, and are then priced higher.
It said that women spent almost double on disposable razors and face cleansers. The study also stated that the companies who engaging in this kind of pricing were not doing anything illegal, and were simply giving customers a choice.
Gender based pricing differentiation has increasingly come to the limelight- last year a Change.org launched a petition against U.K based Boots. The petition brought to light the vast differences in pricing for women’s and men’s products, and prompted the company to change its pricing policy.
And let's not forget the whopping cost of sanitary napkins, tampons and makeup!
So what's the situation in India?
According to a study conducted by ASSOCHAM India, the market size of India’s beauty, cosmetic and grooming business will reach 20 billion dollars by 2025.
Interestingly in India the men’s grooming and personal care market is growing at a faster rate than the personal care market as a whole. It has grown more than 42 percent in the last five years.
The study estimated that men between the ages 18-25 actually spend more money on grooming and personal care products than women in India!
And men in smaller towns are increasingly displaying desire for whitening and fairness products.
Indeed, a cursory search online reveals that many men and women’s products, including razors, are priced similarly.