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Same item, different prices: Boohoo faces retail discrepancies

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

Apr. 2, 2021

Online retail giant Boohoo is plagued by price discrepancies across its brand portfolio, despite items being the same.

Research by the BBC found same items of clothing sold for various prices across its fashion labels, including a puffer coat that was 34 pounds more expensive at Coast than at Dorothy Perkins. Both brands are owned by Boohoo, as are Oasis and Warehouse.

Boohoo told the BBC the “miscommunication was not intentional” but the response shows a lack of supply chain management and cross-checking across it’s growing e-commerce platform.

“Our internal investigation continues and we will be re-pricing all the crossover stock to be aligned,” the company said.

The BBC discovered the pricing disparity when a reporter bought a coat from Coast and a friend bought the exact same item from Dorothy Perkins.

Catherine Erdly, founder of The Resilient Retail Club consultancy, and a former senior merchandiser at Coast, told the BBC: “If all Boohoo are going to do is buy the same stuff and slap different prices on it then it’s destroying that brand’s identity.”

The art of pricing

Pricing architecture for fast fashion brands is an artform, where stock is ordered and predicted months in advance. Despite each fashion label having its teams, the parent company is ultimately responsible for ensuring market pricing alignment. Customers are savvy and quickly respond to price discrepancies when they know they can purchase the same item cheaper elsewhere.

Images: Oasis; Article Source: BBC