Shoppers are accusing UK-based retailer New Look for placing a “fat tax” on clothes above a certain size.
The company came under fire earlier this week after retail supervisor Maria Wassell discovered the price discrepancy while shopping at a New Look branch in Ashford, UK, The Sun reported.
Wassell said she found a pair of green striped pants in the store’s “Curves” section for £22.99 ($31.01 in US dollars) but was “absolutely disgusted” when she noticed that an identical pair was £19.99 ($26.97), or 15% cheaper, in the store’s main collection.
According to The Sun, Wassell then returned home and browsed New Look’s website, where she discovered that the same pair of striped pants were only £22.99 in sizes 14 (UK size 18) and above. In comparison, the pants were £19.99 for all other sizes in the retailer’s main, “Tall,” and “Petite” collections.
Wassell also found a T-shirt with the words “tres jolie” printed on it for £9.99 ($13.47) in sizes 12 (UK size 16) and under; she had previously bought the same T-shirt in a size 14 (UK size 18) for £12.99 ($17.51).
According to The Sun, Wassell is boycotting New Look until the retailer eliminates this price discrepancy from its stores. And it appears she’s not alone. Following her discovery, many are criticizing New Look for placing what they are calling a “fat tax” on clothes above a certain size.
On Twitter, some have argued that the price discrepancy between items from the retailer’s “Curves” line and its other collections could negatively affect people’s body image. Others believe that New Look’s pricing unfairly targets and discriminates against individuals who may not have control over their size or height.
New Look did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment, but a spokesman for the retailer told The Sun that the company is “in the process of reviewing the pricing structure of [its] plus-size collection” to “ensure pricing differences like these don’t happen in the future.”
“We are proud of the ranges we offer to our plus-size customers and value all customers, no matter what their body shape or size,” the spokesman added.
At the time of writing, New Look’s “Green Stripe Wide Leg Trousers” are still being sold for 15% more in the retailer’s “Curves” section online than in its other sections. The price discrepancy for the aforementioned “tres jolie” T-shirt has also remained unchanged.
Maria Wassell could not be reached for comment.
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