Michigan AG accuses Menard’s of price gouging
The Michigan Attorney General has sent a cease and desist letter to Menards after investigators from the office determined that the home improvement retailer was engaged in preying on the public’s fear about the spread of the novel coronavirus by systematically raising prices of items in high demand, including cleaning products and 3M face masks.
Attorney General Dana Nessel responded after customers of Menards in the state began complaining about the prices the retailer was charging. Investigators from Ms. Nessel’s office claim that at least one Menards store in the state doubled its price on disinfecting bleach.
“Big box stores are not immune to the Michigan Consumer Protection Act or the Governor’s Executive Order,” said Ms. Nessel in a statement. “Large corporations must also play by the rules, and my office will work diligently to ensure this state’s consumers are treated fairly and not abused by businesses seeking to unlawfully jack prices up to line their pockets with profits at the expense of the public during this time of great need.”
The number of patients in Michigan who have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus increased by 12 people yesterday to currently stand at 65.
In an email, a spokesperson for the retailer told MLive that the retailer began selling a new Clorox bleach product with a concentration of 7.5 percent sodium hypochlorite, compared to the previous item with a six percent concentration. Menards, which priced the item at $8.99 for a 121-ounce container, has since lowered the price to $7.49. The chain believes that its current price is in line with market rates for the same product.
“We will continue to monitor and adjust prices if the market changes,” the spokesperson wrote in the email. “Our focus right now is to get products to our stores or else none of this would matter anyway.”
- AG Nessel Sends Cease and Desist Letter to Menards For Price-gouging – Department of Attorney General
- Menards says their bleach prices are ‘reasonable’ after being accused of price gouging by Michigan Attorney General – MLive
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does Menards have a public relations problem on its hands following the Michigan Attorney General’s cease and desist letter for price gouging? Has the chain’s response to the accusation been adequate for the moment?