The report found womens Levi’s 501 jeans around 46% more expensive than men’s

The report found women's Levi’s 501 jeans around 46% more expensive than men’s

Levi Strauss has said it does not set retail prices according to gender after a report cited the denim giant as one of a number of UK high street stores charging women up to twice as much as men for almost identical items. 

The investigation by The Times suggested the cost of clothes, beauty products and toys for women and girls is higher than equivalent items marketed at men and boys, following analysis of hundreds of products. On average, across all equivalent products with different prices, the products marketed at women were 37% more expensive.

In particular, it found that women's Levi's 501 jeans are around 46% more expensive than the men's version, despite having the same waist and leg length. 

The findings, described as "unacceptable" by Maria Miller, chairwoman of a committee of MPs, could result in retail bosses being called to parliament to justify the price gap, The Times has said. 

A spokesperson for Levi Strauss, however, told just-style that while it was difficult to comment, not having seen the specifics of the investigation, or having being contacted by The Times before the findings were published, that generally its prices are set based on the cost of goods sold plus a margin to cover operating expenses. 

"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 make-up, or the finishing could be more premium, all of which gets factored into pricing. We look at the market and the competitive set but absolutely do not set prices according to gender. We work to maintain competitive prices with our competition while delivering the best quality product our consumers know and love us for."

Other brands cited in the report included Tesco, Amazon and Boots. The Times quoted a recent study by the New York City department of consumer affairs, which compared male and female versions of nearly 800 products. It found that women were persistently charged more, with iems marketed to girls and women, on average, 7% more expensive. 

Sam Smethers, CEO of the Fawcett Society campaign group for women's rights, said: "The Times investigation is really quite shocking. What we are seeing here is a sexist surcharge. Retailers are using gender stereotypes to charge women a premium simply for being women. Not only are women being boxed in by gender stereotypes but they are paying more for it. We need more gender neutral options and an end to these rip off practices."