Clicks brushes
  • A pink hairbrush for girls was on its shelves at a price 186% above the same brush but in blue, for boys, because of discounting gone wrong, says Clicks.
  • The huge price difference raised eyebrows on social media, in the context of a "pink tax" often thought to be charged for especially fashion and beauty items targeted at women and girls.
  • It had excess stock of the detangling hair brush "for brave boy", which unlike the version "for pretty girl" had been discontinued.
  • It has taken both off sale, and intends to donate the items, Clicks says.
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It was only charging R14 for a boy's hairbrush – as opposed to just under R40 for the same brush aimed at girls – because of an overstock discount gone wrong, Clicks said on Friday.

The retailer faced some stiff questions after a Twitter user posted an image showing the two detangling brushes, one "for pretty girl" and one "for brave boy", side by side on a shelf, so that that 186% price difference was impossible to miss.

Retailers, especially in the fashion and beauty sectors, are often accused of imposing a "pink tax" on women and girls, charging a significant premium for items functionally no different from those sold to men and boys.

See also | We checked the shelves to see if ‘pink tax’ exists, and found women pay much more than men for the same thing

This, Clicks responded, is not that, describing the discrepancy as an "oversight".

The retailer said the blue brush had been discontinued, and was in overstock, hence discounted.

But it added that both should be been removed from shelves, and committed to doing so, with the intention of donating the brushes.

The blue brush was not marked as being on promotion because it was discounted to clear, Clicks said.

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