Walmart Charge “Fat Tax”

What’s the Issue?

Retail giant Walmart Canada is joining the likes of Old Navy and is now charging a “fat tax” on plus size clothes, charging as much as $5 more for the same item. The argument they make is that more fabric is required in to manufacture plus size clothes.

So, does it cost more?

It does.  At Charlotte Jackson our size 16 items DO cost less to make than our size 24 – but marginally so. Certainly not enough that we would pass this on to our customers. If they use that argument then why not charge less for a size 0, charge a little more for a size 2, and continue to charge more for every subsequent size. That would at least validate their argument. But can you ever see that happening? Most definitely not. Instead, they impose a “fat tax” specifically aimed at the plus size market. To make it worse, Old Navy, whilst charging extra for plus size women’s clothes, don’t charge extra for their plus size men’s clothes. I’d love to understand that argument.

Earlier this year U.K. based retailer New Look admitted it charged more for plus size clothes. They have since changed their policy to one price for all sizes. That’s still not good enough. The fact that they discriminated in the first place is the issue. Retailers make plenty of profit out of the clothing they sell, this is just a way to be inclusive of the plus size market. But the give with one hand and take with the other. That leaves us, the general public, to decide where we want to spend our hard earned money – with those retailers who consider all sizes and treat all the same, or those who want to include larger sizes but still want to make sure they discriminate – even if it’s just on price.

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