Why an NYC Pharmacy Imposed a 7% Man Tax

Owner is charging women less and paying the difference
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2016 7:45 AM CDT
Why an NYC Pharmacy Imposed a 7% Man Tax
This photo taken March 10, 2013 shows non-prescription drugs displayed at a pharmacy in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

To all the women living in Manhattan, now might be an economically sensible time to head over to SoHo and stock up on all your feminine products, because neighborhood pharmacy Thompson Chemists just might be waiving your 7% "pink tax." Owner Jolie Alony tells Gothamist that she wants to "bring awareness on how it feels to be a woman, so the men actually get to feel it," by which she is referring to the fact that women pay roughly 7% more for personal products marketed to women than they would for the equivalent product marketed to men, as a recent NYC Department of Consumer Affairs report found. The 7% difference is often called the "pink tax" or "tampon tax," and the Daily Dot reports that there's more: Women's clothes cost more to dry clean, for example, and in many states menstrual products are actually taxed as luxury goods.

On Monday, Alony posted two signs out front: "All female customers shop tax free" and "All male customers are subject to a 7% man tax." It's a bit misleading, as Time reports, given pricing didn't change at all for men but was dropped 7% for women (Alony must still pay sales tax in full, so she's paying the difference out of pocket). She wasn't sure whether she would continue the promotion past Monday. And while she said that at the shop her female customers were "very, very happy" and the men "just laughed," the story's gone viral and the pharmacy's Facebook page is riddled with one-star reviews and comments decrying the store's "sexist and hateful business practices" and calling the owners "idiots." Apparently they didn't heed the pharmacy's request to "please avoid locker room banter." (Read about why the trip a mom and daughter took to buy tampons went viral.)

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