The Competition Authority (CAK) has condemned the management of clean shelf supermarket’s for taking advantage of the Corona virus situation to increase the retail price of hand sanitizers in their outlets.
CAK has further ordered CleanShelf to contact and refund the consumers who purchased the sanitizers, totalling 960 pieces, the excess money above the initial set retail price and submit evidence to support the same by March 26.
According to the Competition Authority, CleanShelf hiked the prices of Tropical brand hand sanitisers (500ml) in contravention of the Competition Act No.12 of 2010. The product is reportedly sold at Sh 800 but after the illegal increment was retailing as Sh 1000 on March 15, 2020.
“Pursuant to the Authority’s investigations under Section 70A of the Act, the Authority established that the retailer has been unconscionably adjusting the prices of Tropical brand hand sanitisers in contravention of section 56 (1) of the Act,’’ CAK said in a statement.
”The retailer, therefore, exploited its relative strength as a retailer to commercially detriment consumers whose bargaining position has been diminished following the pronouncement of the existence of COVID-19 in Kenya,’’ CAK said.
CAK had on Friday last week, issued a statement, warning retailers against taking advantage of coronavirus to hoard goods or hike prices.
KOT Reacts to Cleanshelf Statement
Clean shelf in it’s defence issued a statement that only attracted more backlash, after the management blamed the price increment of the hand sanitizers to an employee who made the decision without authorisation.
“It has come to our attention that one of our staff members without consultation and irresponsibly severally adjusted the price of hand sanitizers in our Ruaka branch,” a statement from the management said.
“This was an individual error, and the management of Cleanshelf wholly and unreservedly apologizes to all our customers.”
Furious Kenyans took to social media to bash the supermarket, making #CleanShelf a trending topic on twitter for the better part of yesterday.
Mutaiti: the explanation is #cleanshelf bogus… Price change is issued from HQ.. SMH
WambuiChege: #Cleanshelf you’ve let us down and the Way we are loyal customers in Limuru.
TeacherTrizah™?: Lies are interesting. Which employee can change prices? Common sense!
Kenya has reported three cases of COVID-19 by Sunday.