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It Costs Women More Than Men to Shop in New York City

Driely S.

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It's expensive enough as it is to subsist in New York City, but it's going to cost you a little bit more if you're a woman. A study conducted by the city's Department of Consumer Affairs found that women pay 7% more on average for a range of gender-targeted products, and all the way up to 13% more on personal care items, WWD reported.

Titled "From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer," the study compared the prices of nearly 800 products with male and female versions sold both online and at 24 NYC retailers and found that women's products were priced higher 42% of the time. That translates to spending thousands of dollars more over a lifetime because of factors like ingredients, textiles, and import tariffs on these products — subtle differences that typically go undetected by consumers. Across the 35 product categories analyzed, women's products cost more in 30 of them.

"In New York City, businesses can set their own prices, but it is DCA's job to make sure that a consumer knows what that price is," Julie Menin, the commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, said to the paper. The department has since sent letters to some of the city's major retailers carrying the products it reviewed asking them to take a look at the gender pricing disparities. "We also encourage all New Yorkers to join us in calling on retailers to change their pricing practices," she added.

But until stores recognize and rectify these imbalances, what's a woman to do? Shop smart, as usual: "The solution lies with informed retail customers who refuse to buy into the discrimination," Michael Cone, a trade law expert and consultant on the report, noted to the paper.