Identical grooming products cost more for women
Published 03/06/2010 | 05:00
WOMEN are paying through the nose in their quest for the body beautiful -- with some female grooming products priced far higher than almost identical items for men.
From moisturiser to razor blades and deodorant to shower gel, a new survey by the Consumers' Association of Ireland (CAI) reveals startling mark-ups.
The differences are at their most striking when it comes to hair-removal products.
For example, a packet of five Gillette Sensor Excel Men razor blades costs €5.83 in Dunnes, or €1.17 each, whereas a packet of five Gillette Sensor Excel Women razor blades was priced at €7.95, or €1.59 each.
Boots chemists also charged women three times as much as men for razors with a 10-pack of their disposable razors for men costing €1.65, or 17c each, compared with a five-pack for women costing €2.99, or 50c each.
For deodorant the price gap was also staggering.
At Tesco an Adidas Action 3 Dry Pro Level deodorant cost €2.02 for the male version, whereas the female version cost €4.05 -- even though it was much smaller at 150ml compared to 250ml for the men's one.
And at Superquinn an Imperial Leather Shower Gel for Men rang in at €2.19 whereas the similar Imperial Leather Shower Gel Softly Softly cost €3.25.
That meant women were paying €1.30 per 100ml to keep clean, compared with €0.88 for men -- a markup of 47pc.
High-end moisturiser also costs more for women -- at Brown Thomas, Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion for women costs €42 for 125ml while Clinique M Lotion for men costs €30 for 100ml, making the female version 12pc dearer.
The survey, published in the CAI's 'Consumer Choice' magazine, found many products had similarly-priced male and female versions, particularly for shampoo and body wash, but that there were also huge differences.
CAI researcher Sinead McMahon said: "Our question is: if products are more or less the same and carry out the same functions should they not cost the same regardless of a customer's gender?"
Asked to explain the difference, manufacturers said prices were at the discretion of the retailer. "Gillette does not set retailer pricing strategy and does not recommend any retailer sells Gillette Sensor Excel Men razor blades cheaper than the equivalent Gillette Sensor Excel Women razor blades," said a company spokesperson.
Superquinn told 'Consumer Choice' that it didn't set out to discriminate and was "simply tracking the pricing that is in the market".
Tesco, Boots and Dunnes did not respond to requests from the CAI for an explanation of the cost differences.
The three companies last night also refused to comment when contacted by the Irish Independent.