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Monday 13th July 2020

Coronavirus: Shoppers 'disgusted' as corner shops inflate the price of hand gel to £20

Loo roll prices also hiked up

Shoppers have told ED! they are disgusted that local corner shops have decided to inflate the price of hand gel and toilet roll amid the coronavirus crisis.

One woman got in touch to reveal that two of her local shops have been attempting to cash in by upping the price of the essential items.

A 600ml bottle of hand sanitiser is on sale in a corner shop in Birmingham for a hugely inflated £20.

In another store, toilet rolls have been removed from multipacks and are being sold individually for 50p a roll.

One local shop had removed toilet rolls from multipacks and is selling them individually (Credit: ED! reader picture)

A picture from the shop shows that if you want to buy one roll of Andrex toilet paper, it will cost you £1.

Our reader accused the shops of "cashing in" and "exploiting the current situation".

Read more: Sainsbury's elderly hour kicks off with empty shelves and "only expensive brands left"

She said: "My local corner shop in Birmingham is now selling multipack toilet rolls, taking them out and selling them individually for 50p-£1 per roll."

She added: "Local corner shops are now taking full advantage of the current situation we are all in."

Local corner shops are now taking full advantage of the current situation we are all in.

The woman also added that a number of shoppers have told the shopkeeper that what he is doing is "disgusting", while they have also questioned just how hygienic it is.

"It is extremely unhygienic as he is touching items which were in packaging and for all I know he hasn't washed his hands," she said.

Hand gel prices have been inflated to £20 per bottle (Credit: ED! reader picture)

"A number of locals have told him how disgusting what he's doing is, but he doesn't care," she said.

She said the hand gel was being sold on another shop nearby.

"This caused lots of anger from locals," she said. "The shopkeeper said he raised his price due to the supply and demand."

Read more: Elderly opening hours explained as Sainsbury's, Asda, Tesco and Morrisons introduce new rules

The woman also said she felt it was unfair on elderly people, many of whom regularly rely on local shops – and even more so during the pandemic.

"I feel a lot of corner shops are taking advantage of the situation in which people are at their most vulnerable – especially the older generation who are unable to shop at big supermarkets," she said.

Looking to the future when the pandemic is over, she slammed: "I hope once all this passes and things calm down, no one uses these shops."

Shoppers have been faced with empty shelves in supermarkets (Credit: ED!)

She continued: "At a time like this we should be coming together, not taking advantage of each other. Money has no value when you're too sick to use it – they need to remember that."

A look on Twitter shows it isn't an isolated incident, with many people saying that local shops are inflating prices.

One said: "A pharmacy in Essex has been spotted selling bottles of hand sanitiser gel for 10 times their original price. A small bottle of hand sanitiser is now being sold for £11.99, with a larger 500ml bottle on offer for £26.99."

It comes are Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he hoped retailers would "continue to be reasonable".

He added: "I really don’t want to see profiteering of any kind."

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