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The clothing chain New Look has been criticised for selling larger sizes with a more expensive price-tag than the same clothing in smaller sizes.

This was discovered after a customer shopping in the plus-size section noticed that a pair of pants were 15% more expensive than the same pair in smaller sizes. The customer was infuriated and brought it to the attention of others. It has since spread across social media and caused disputes over divided opinions.

Some people believe it is fair to charge a higher price for more material. A plus-size fashion designer by the name of Anna Scholz spoke about this. She said there is a limit to the sizes of clothing that can be made for the same price. She added that sometimes it can take double the material to make an identical item of clothing in a larger size.

The opposition believes these higher prices are a form of prejudice. Maria Wassell, a customer who noticed the price difference spoke out saying, “It’s like I’m being discriminated against for being plus-size when I’m only slightly bigger than average.” A fashion journalist by the name of Emily Sutherland called the argument about needing higher prices for more material, “rubbish”.

Emily explained, “Retailers may argue a larger size requires more fabric and is therefore more expensive to produce… or that there are subtle differences between straight and plus-size products that impact on price, but customers point out tall and maternity ranges, which also use more fabric, are rarely priced higher – and that smaller petite products are unlikely to be cheaper.”

Emily also pointed out that it is common for retailers to harmonise the prices for differing sizes of clothing. However, it is uncertain whether or not businesses take any set-backs while making this possible.

New Look has said that they are currently reviewing their prices and hope to find a solution that works best for their business and their customers. They have also said they welcome all of their customers, no matter their shape or size.

Difficult words

Plus-size: Sizes that are bigger than large.

Infuriate: To make extremely angry.

Dispute: To argue.

Identical: To be exactly the same, no difference.

Opposition: The opposite side.

Subtle: Something that is barely noticeable.

Impact: To affect or smash something

Maternity: For pregnant women.

Petite: Very small.

Harmonise: To be match or coordinate with each other.

Set-back: Something that causes a difficulty.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

Match the Synonym!

1. Infuriate A. Same
2. Dispute B. Unnoticed
3. Identical C. Anger
4. Opposition D. Problem
5. Subtle E. Small
6. Impact F. Match
7. Petite G. Argue
8. Harmonise H. Opposite
9. Set-back I.  Affect

True or False?

1. New Look is being praised for their clothing prices. T / F

2. A worker at the store noticed the price differences. T / F

3.  People are arguing about what is right. T / F

4. The larger clothing was 15% cheaper than smaller clothing. T / F

5.  Some people think more material should mean higher prices, T / F

6.  Nobody thinks the higher prices is discrimination. T / F

7.  Sometimes it takes double the material to make a larger size. T / F

8.  It is not common for shops to harmonise the prices between sizes. T / F

9.  Smaller sizes are often cheaper. T / F

10.  New Look welcomes all customers. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. been / clothing / The / has / criticised / Look / chain / New

2. disputes / spread / has / caused / social / It / across / since / and / media

3. added / material / can / it / sometimes / that / take / She / the / double

4. higher / believes / opposition / these / prejudice / prices / are / form / a / The / of

5. They / welcome / have / their / they / all / customers / said / also / of

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

 Double Against Criticised
Infuriated Reviewing  Harmonise
Pointed  Subtle  Limit

The clothing chain New Look has been ______________ for selling larger sizes with a more expensive price-tag than the same clothing in smaller sizes.

This was discovered after a customer shopping in the plus-size section noticed that a pair of pants were 15% more expensive than the same pair in smaller sizes. The customer was ______________ and brought it to the attention of others. It has since spread across social media and caused disputes over divided opinions.

Some people believe it is fair to charge a higher price for more material. A plus-size fashion designer by the name of Anna Scholz spoke about this. She said there is a ________ to the sizes of clothing that can be made for the same price. She added that sometimes it can take ____________ the material to make an identical item of clothing in a larger size.

The opposition believes these higher prices are a form of prejudice. Maria Wassell, a customer who noticed the price difference spoke out saying, “It’s like I’m being discriminated ___________ for being plus-size when I’m only slightly bigger than average.” A fashion journalist by the name of Emily Sutherland called the argument about needing higher prices for more material “rubbish”.

Emily explained, “Retailers may argue a larger size requires more fabric and is therefore more expensive to produce… or that there are ___________ differences between straight and plus-size products that impact on price, but customers point out tall and maternity ranges, which also use more fabric, are rarely priced higher – and that smaller petite products are unlikely to be cheaper.”

Emily also _____________  out that it is common for retailers to ______________ the prices for differing sizes of clothing. However, it is uncertain whether or not businesses take any set-backs while making this possible.

New Look has said that they are currently ______________ their prices and hope to find a solution that works best for their business and their customers. They have also said they welcome all of their customers, no matter their shape or size.

 

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. Should people be angry about the higher priced clothing?
4. If you were the company, would you price the clothes differently?
5. What is your favourite store to shop at?
6. Would you be upset if your size was more expensive than other sizes?
7. Is it more important for the company to make more profit or keep customers happy?
8. Do you think these different prices are discrimination?
9. Is discrimination a problem in your country?
10. What is the worst kind of discrimination?
11. Are there laws in your country that stop discrimination?
12. Do you think people are too sensitive these days?
13. Do you think discrimination will ever disappear from the world?
14. Where do you think discrimination comes from?
15. Do you think companies worry about offending their customers?
16. Has a company in your country ever offended many people before?
17. What should companies do to make sure they don’t offend anyone?
18. Some companies or famous people have lost their jobs for offending others, is this fair?
19. Do people need to be extra careful about what they say these days?
20. Have you ever been offended by something a company or someone famous said?