Upscale Toronto grocer Pusateri’s is squarely in the sights of Premier Doug Ford, and for all the wrong reasons.
During the Premier’s daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, he called out the glam grocer as an example of the growing trend of artificially inflating prices in times of great need.
“I hear they are selling hand wipes for $30 a tin. That’s disgusting,” Ford said.
Ford says he has “zero tolerance” for price gouging. “I’m calling them out, Pusateris…I hear they are selling hand wipes for $30 a tin. That’s disgusting.” Says he’s bringing this to cabinet and they are going to make this illegal. #onpoli
— Laura Stone (@l_stone) March 26, 2020
Premier Ford is likely responding to a photograph circulated on a Toronto blog that shows a sign near or at a Pusateri’s location seemingly advertising the wipes for sale in the store at the incredible price of $29.99.
By comparison, a quick check on grocery store Metro’s website has Lysol wipes priced at $4.99.
It didn’t take long for Pusateri’s to respond to Premier Ford’s ire. The Toronto company was quick to post an apology for the error on its website offering to refund any purchases of Lysol wipes at the inflated price.
“While no excuse, our stores are facing immense pressure on all levels of the operation. As a result of this mounting pressure, critical elements were overlooked including the incorrect pricing of this product,” the statement read. “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 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Currently, Pusateri’s is operating four locations in the city with Toronto Eaton Centre locations closed for COVID-19 measures.