In an effort to offset the pay gap in society, Trusaic, a Los Angeles-based regulatory compliance software company that focuses on advancing social good in the workplace and produces equal pay software, has launched the so-called Pay Gap Store, the world’s first retail model where the prices reflect America’s salary disparity among gender and race/ethnicity.
The new store’s male shoppers are among those it suggests pay higher prices, since US men still, on average, earn 18 percent more than US women – a difference known as the gender pay gap.
The site suggests that other customers, meanwhile, pay less, reflecting the extent to which those of their gender and race/ethnicity on average earn less.
Trusaic says it created the store to spotlight the persistence of large gender and race/ethnicity earnings gaps.
“This is a breakthrough idea in online retailing,” said Matt Gotchy, Trusaic’s spokesperson, in a statement. “It’s the world’s only store with a ‘price gap’ that balances the pay gap in the outside world.”
The store sells a range of T-shirts, mugs and tote bags, each bearing the message, “Where’s my X%?” – where the value of “X” for each customer depends on their stated gender and race/ethnicity.
The store’s visitors are first asked their gender and race/ethnicity. Then the price suggested to them for each item reflects the average US pay gap faced – or enjoyed – by those of their profile.
Asian men are the only customers invited to pay the full Pay Gap Store price since they, on average, earn the most.
Every other group – including white men, the second highest-earners according to the company – are then suggested a lower price, based on their own “Pay Gap Store discount.”
Hispanic women are suggested the lowest price of all, since they according Trusaic, on average face the largest pay gap, earning 49 cents on the dollar earned by Asian men. The message on their goods therefore asks, “Where’s my 51%?” So, their mug, for example, sells for $12.24 – compared to the $24.99 suggested for Asian men’s and $20.99 for white men (reflecting the 16 percent pay gap between the latter two groups).
The potentially controversial shop does not require customers of different profiles to pay different prices – it merely suggests that they do – and was created mostly to highlight this hot-button issue.
Trusaic adds that profits from the store will be donated to charity.