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Levi’s Responds to Accusations of Sexist Pricing Policies

Levi Strauss & Co. has denied claims that they have sexist pricing policies after being singled out by The Times in the U.K., which claimed women’s Levi’s 501 jeans were 46 percent more expensive than men’s.

A company spokesperson said, “You may look at two pairs of jeans and they seem very similar, but it could be that one has more stretch in it, or a more innovative fabric makeup, or the finishing could be more premium, or we’ve put one on sale based on seasonality or consumer demand, all of which get factored into pricing. We look at the market and the competitive set, but do not set prices according to gender.”

Levi’s said that since the comparison was done on certain online styles on a single day and included both sale and full-priced goods it wasn’t a fair comparison.

The Times article that analyzed Levi’s pricing policy found that overall U.K. high street stores are charging women up to twice as much as men for nearly identical products in clothing and beauty categories. On average, the products marketed to women were 37 percent more expensive.

Gender-based pricing have been a hot topic in the United States as well. In the beginning of January, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) found that women’s product cost 7 percent more on average than similarly marketed men’s products, including jeans, dress pants, sweaters and socks.