High-end Toronto grocery chain Pusateri’s faced outrage from consumers and the Premiere of Ontario on Thursday for selling Lysol wipes for $29.99.
In a statement emailed to Canadian Grocer, Frank Luchetta, president and CEO of the six-location Pusateri’s, said the price was a mistake and promised to give refunds to anyone who bought the wipes for the inflated price.
“While no excuse, our stores are facing immense pressure on all levels of operation. As a result of this mounting pressure, critical elements were overlooked including the incorrect pricing of this product,” he said.
Wipes have become extremely hard to find in recent weeks, as fears of COVID has increased dramatically. On its site, Canadian Tire lists a single container of Lysol Wipes for $3.29 and Walmart sells a six-pack of 110 count containers for $29.97.
“This was our mistake, our error, our oversight and we apologize to everyone impacted. We are promptly reviewing and adjusting any and all products that may have been improperly listed and every individual who purchased this product will be fully refunded,” said Luchetta in the statement.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford made no effort to hide his anger while talking with reporters Thursday afternoon.
“I’m calling them out—Pusateri’s. I’m hearing they are selling hand wipes for $30 a tin. That’s disgusting,” said Ford. “People have the nerve to actually jack up their prices to $30 a container for hand wipes. It’s beyond belief.”
Ford said his government would move quickly to crack down on any other examples of price gouging. “We’re coming after you. We’re gonna come after you hard.”
“We are a family owned and operated business and we share in the concern of the new realities that COVID-19 has created for everyone,” said Luchetta. “This never should have happened, and it will never happen again.“