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AP Photo/Alastair Grant
The “pink tax” persists.
GETTING THERE

This UK pharmacy is taking the first steps to charge women the same prices as men

By Frida Garza

Someone finally admitted it: Women really do pay more than men for beauty products, even if they’re nearly identical items. Now UK pharmacy chain Boots is taking steps to end that trend.

The popular chain, which operates more than 2,500 stores in the UK and Ireland, conducted a review of its own product line and found that its brand of disposable razors and the Botanics eye roll-on did not meet equal pricing principles, according to a Feb. 1 company press release. The pharmacy said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the finding and would move to “correct” the price gap.

The decision comes after a study by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs, released December 2015, found that women regularly pay more for the same product when it’s packaged as “feminine.” The study looked the “male” and “female” versions of 800 products offered at both online and in-store New York retailers, and found that women were charged 7% more than men on average for a wide range of products. The so-called “pink tax” even extended to children’s toys, like scooters.

Boots’s review of its own line and its announcement are steps in the right direction—but don’t expect all its women’s products to suddenly get cheaper: the company said it is speaking to its suppliers to conduct more internal reviews, but could not comment further on their pricing. “That would be a matter for the brands themselves,” said the press release.