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Retailers, distributors take stand against price gouging


Retailers, distributors take stand against price gouging

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Following is an edited statement by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Members of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) have pledged to maintain food and commodity prices at stable levels as COVID-19 continues to affect economies around the world.

At an urgent meeting of major retailers and distributors convened recently at the Chamber’s offices on Dalkeith Hill, St Michael, members agreed that price gouging – taking advantage of increased demand to increase prices of goods and services in the current crisis – will not be practiced nor tolerated.

“We do not subscribe to price gouging. We will maintain our regular mark-ups,” the retailers and distributors agreed.

Their commitment was met with an assurance from Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce Dwight Sutherland, who addressed the meeting, that Government would work with the business community to maintain a pricing regime that allows for a stable structure. He encouraged BCCI members to use their contacts and relationships with suppliers to extract any goodwill.

“This is a worldwide health emergency, but Government cannot absorb all the shock alone. We have to approach this as a team to address the impact of COVID-19 on the business sector. Government is prepared to walk with you. We will continue to engage with the Chamber on this matter,” Sutherland said.

BCCI President Trisha Tannis reaffirmed the Chamber’s commitment to promoting integrity in its membership as the crisis unfolds.

The commitment was signed by all the major players in the local retail and distribution group which continues to meet with Government and other stakeholders to address the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses, staff and delivery of service to customers. (PR)