A recently married Ontario legislature has decided that price gaps between men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, dry cleaning, and hair styles are a human rights violation. Lorenzo Berardinetti has proposed a bill that would levy fines for those who offer different prices to men and women. The absurdity of the bill aside, there are interesting pricing questions underlying these gaps. For the most part, I think they reflect the different value different consumers assign to certain items. Why much of this value segmentation falls along gender lines is a question for marketers and sociologists (any opinions? please leave a comment).

If dry cleaners are using discriminatory pricing (charging differently for the same treatment of the same clothes made of the same material), that would seem like a great market opportunity.

(One has to wonder, where has Mr. Berardinetti been? Did he just notice this? And is his wife as much more stylish than him as my wife is than me?)

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