High street stores 'charging women twice as much as men' for similar products

Products aimed at women cost 37% more on average, The Times investigation found Credit: PA

Women are being charged up to twice as much as men for nearly identical products on the British high street, according to new research.

An investigation into the pricing of hundreds of goods by The Times (£) found that those aimed at women and girls are 37% more expensive on average than the male equivalent.

In one example involving children's toys, Argos was found to charge £5 more for pink scooters than the same ones in blue.

At Tesco, a pack of 10 pink disposable razors is double the price of the blue ones marketed at men.

Women's Levi’s 501 jeans were found to cost an average of 46% more than men’s - despite having the same waist and leg length.

Women's Levi’s 501 jeans were found to cost an average of 46% more than men’s Credit: PA

Major retailers face being called to parliament to justify the cost differences, the paper reported.

Maria Miller, who leads the women and equalities committee, said: "It is unacceptable that women face higher costs for the same products just because they are targeted at women."

Sam Smethers, of the Fawcett Society campaign group for women’s rights, accused retailers of "rip-off practices"

"This investigation is really quite shocking," she said. "What we are seeing is a sexist surcharge."

The research found that only boys' underpants were more expensive than girls'.

Tesco responded: "We work hard to offer clear, fair and transparent pricing. A number of products for females have additional design and performance features. We continually review our pricing strategy."

A Boots spokesman said: "Our products are priced individually based on factors including formulation, ingredients and market comparison."

Argos and Levi’s did not comment.