One New York City pharmacy is turning the tables on men—charging guys a 7% “man tax” in an effort to highlight pricing discrimination that women routinely face.
Thompson Chemists, located in Manhattan, posted signs on Monday stating that all female customers would shop tax-free, while male customers will be charged a 7% “man tax.” The store’s owner, Jolie Alony, says the new policy is a promotion meant to address the "pink tax," the term referring to how everyday purchases like razors and deodorant are priced higher when they're marketed to women.
“We want to bring awareness on how it feels to be a woman, so the men actually get to feel it,” Alony told Gothamist.
Contrary to the signs, men aren’t actually paying more than they normally would. Rather, the business is giving female customer a break on the sales tax, for a discount of about 7%. The pharmacy is still required to pay out sales tax in full, so Alony is making up the difference herself, adding that she will see how the promotion does before deciding how long to keep running it.
The policy steams from a study conducted last year by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, which investigated the price differences between male and female versions of nearly 800 products across five product categories. The research revealed that, on average, women’s products cost about 7% more than similar products geared toward men in New York City. When it comes to personal products, women pay an average of 13% more than guys, according to the report.
Thompson isn’t the only retailer attempting to raise awareness around the “pink tax” women face. Online retailer Boxed.com announced last week it was lowering prices for female-oriented products that had higher costs than the male equivalent, and that it was lowering sales taxes on certain items.
"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," Boxed CEO and founder Chieh Huang said in a statement.
Boxed found that, when comparing per ounce or per unit women are paying an average of 108% more for razors; 10% more for body wash; 8% more for deodorant; and 5% more for shaving gel.