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'Absolutely disgusting:' Ford slams upscale Toronto grocery chain for jacking up price on Lysol wipes
Published Thursday, March 26, 2020 2:46PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, March 28, 2020 5:34PM EDT
Premier Doug Ford says he plans to “come after” any retailer who decides to jack up the price on essential goods following reports that an upscale Toronto grocery chain was charging customers $30 for a container of Lysol wipes.
“I have zero, zero tolerance for price gouging. I’m calling them out. Pusateri’s, I hear they are selling hand wipes for $30 a tin. That is disgusting,” the premier said during the province’s daily COVID-19 update at Queen’s Park on Thursday. “Absolutely disgusting that a company like that would be selling hand wipes for that cost.”
Images taken at one of Pusateri’s locations near Avenue Road and Lawrence Avenue show signs advertising Lysol wipes for $29.99 per container with a limit of one container per family.
The wipes, along with many other household cleaning products, have been a difficult commodity to find in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When we have so many great companies, the vast majority of companies around this province (and) around the country, trying to help people out, (that) people would have the nerve to actually jack up the prices to $30 a container for hand wipes, it is beyond belief,” Ford said.
“Nothing gets me more furious than someone taking advantage and price gouging the public that are in desperate need of these items.”
Ford said his government is working to put a stop to the situation in the coming days.
“We are bringing this to cabinet and we are putting in an order that it is going to be illegal for price gouging,” he said. "We are going to come after you hard. I’m going to protect the people of this province.”
In a statement sent out Thursday, Pusateri’s said the pricing was a “mistake” and apologized to all those who were impacted.
The company vowed to give full refunds to any customer who bought the product at that price.
“Our stores are facing immense pressure on all levels of operation,” the chain's CEO Frank Luchetta said in the statement. “As a result of this mounting pressure, critical elements were overlooked including the incorrect pricing of this product."