Rugby shop says wholesaler price hike forced them to sell small bottles of hand sanitiser for up to £15

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Several residents have been in touch with us over this

The owner of the shop in Rugby's Albert Street Post Office has responded to residents who questioned the pricing of hand sanitiser.

Beginning last week, residents began contacting the Advertiser, angry after seeing small bottles (around 50ml) of hand sanitiser on sale for up to £15.

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Some took to social media, accusing the shop of using fears over Covid-19 to make more money.

The shop and, right, a photo a resident took of sanitiser on sale inside.The shop and, right, a photo a resident took of sanitiser on sale inside.
The shop and, right, a photo a resident took of sanitiser on sale inside. | ugc

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, submitted a picture of one of the small bottles on the counter with a £14.99 price label.

And on a visit to the shop last week, someone from this newspaper saw the same bottles on sale for £9.99.

In addition, larger 500ml bottles of sanitiser were being sold for £29.99.

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Yesterday, March 16, an Advertiser reporter visited the shop and could not see any bottles of sanitiser remaining - but did see surgical style face masks on sale for £4.99 each.

The reporter put the concerns of residents to the manager.

The manager, while confirming that some people had bought the sanitiser while others complained, said the shop had raised its prices because the wholesaler had done so too.

When asked if this was also the case with the £4.99 surgical masks, the manager said yes.

Owner of the shop Abbas Bhanji then called this newspaper and said he was happy to talk to 'set the record straight'.

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Addressing complaints from the public, he said: "We're part of the community, we've been here for about 10 years - I'm disappointed that people think that of us."

"We are just buying from the wholesalers - I would be shocked if we are even making more than 10 per cent.

"Everything else we have for sale in the store is ok, we've still got lots of toilet rolls for sale for £1 or £1.50."

Mr Bhanji said that he had taken the decision to pay the costs the wholesalers asked for and then give customers the choice as to whether they wanted to buy items at the higher prices.

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He added: "Half the time, if we get elderly people in we don't even charge them."

A spokesperson for the Post Office said: "Rugby Post Office is not directly managed by us.

"We have direct control over the pricing of Post Office products and services, but not the goods being sold on the retail side.”

Earlier today, our sister paper the Harborough Mail reported on a business who also stated that their higher-than-normal hand sanitiser prices were due to wholesalers charging more.

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