CVS battles the ‘pink tax’
CVS is slashing prices on its menstrual products and working to eliminate sales tax on such items across states as part of a broader push against the “pink tax,” a term referring to the premium women tend to pay versus men for personal health goods.
CVS reduced prices last week on its store brand tampons, menstrual pads, liners and cups products by 25 percent.
As of October 5, CVS also began paying sales tax for menstrual products on customers’ behalf in 12 states and last week also said it was partnering with organizations to eliminate such taxes in states.
One in four women struggled to purchase period supplies within the past year due to lack of income, according to the Alliance for Period Supplies.
Michelle Peluso, EVP and chief customer officer for CVS Health, said in a statement sent to USA Today, “We hope our actions help break down barriers and close gaps, while also inspiring other companies to follow our lead.”
CVS in recent years stopped selling tobacco products and photoshopping images from beauty advertisements to reinforce its health positioning.
In addition, CVS on its website last week said, to address the “pink tax,” it evaluated “thousands of products” to ensure products like razors and shaving cream have equal prices.
A study led by researchers from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University last year exploring the reasons behind the “pink tax” found demand for women’s deodorant products “is relatively inelastic” and that a higher share of TV advertising in the CPG category features women’s products.
CVS’s changes are part of its “HERE, Healthier Happens Together” initiative, which also aims to expand women’s health services in MinuteClinics.
Speaking to The Dallas Morning News, Jake White, CVS’s VP of merchandising and consumer health care, said the industry has had a “one-size-fits-all” approach to health care, but that women’s health challenges are “historically underrecognized and underappreciated.”
He added, “The reality is that women experience conditions that are unique to them, their physiology, their life stage. And given these sort of serious health gaps in care and answers to these systemic issues, we felt we needed to take action.”
- Here for women. – CVS
- CVS drops prices on its tampons and will pay the ‘pink tax’ – CNN
- CVS cuts costs of period products by 25%, pays customer ‘tampon tax’ in some states – USA Today
- CVS drops price on menstrual products, paying ‘pink tax’ in some states – Today
- CVS counters Texas ‘tampon tax’ with 25% off menstrual products – The Dallas Morning News
- Investigating the Pink Tax: Evidence Against a Systematic Price Premium for Women in CPG – Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
- Retailers stand out by vetoing the ‘pink tax’ – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of CVS’s moves to reduce prices on menstrual and other personal products? What’s the root cause of the “pink tax” phenomenon?