The Competition Authority of Kenya has ordered Cleanshelf supermarket
to contact and refund all customers who purchased hand sanitizer after they
hiked the price.
Through a press release, CAK says that the supermarket adjusted the
prices of the Tropikal hand sanitizers (500ml) on March 15 due to the high
demand following reports of coronavirus in Kenya.
“Cleanshelf Supermarkets normally retails the specific hand sanitizers
as Kes.800/=. However, the Authority has determined that the retailer on 15th
March 2020 sold the same batch of product to consumers at varying amounts above
Kes.800/=, including Kes. 1000/=, with the prices increasing within hours,”
read part of the statement from CAK.
CAK says, the supermarket violated the Competition Act No.12 of 2010 and
exploited its consumers. Cleanshelf has therefore been ordered to contact all
consumers who purchased the product and refund them.
“The Authority has therefore ordered Cleanshelf to contact and refund ALL
the consumers who purchased the 960 pieces of the Tropikal brand hand
sanitizers above the usual selling price and submit evidence to support the
same by 26th March 2020,” read the statement.
The Cleanshelf management had earlier released a statement acknowledging
that the hike happened at their Ruaka branch and termed it as an ‘individual
“This was an individual error and the management of Cleanshelf, wholly
and unreservedly apologises to all our customers. Disciplinary action has
already been taken on the staff member” read part of the statement.
The clean shelf management also advised any customer who will be
overcharged for purchasing hand sanitizers should go back to the supermarket
branch and get a full refund.
Last week, CAK warned traders against hiking prices on commodities,
saying that failure to comply will attract a penalty.
“The Act and will attract a penalty of up to ten per cent of the respective
turnover of the manufacturers and retailers in question.”
“It has come to the attention of the Authority that following a
pronouncement by the Government of a confirmed Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
case, some manufacturers and retailers are contemplating collusive increases of
prices and/or hoarding with the intention of subsequently increasing prices of
various consumer goods,” said CAK.