Salisbury deli defends increase in prices during coronavirus pandemic
SALISBURY, Md. – A Salisbury store is defending its prices after some customers took to social media claiming it was charging an unfair amount for items during the coronavirus pandemic.
“As a local small mom and pop store, due to the coronavirus supply and demand has made our prices go up,” says Emily Venables with the Deli at Pecan Square. “We can’t control the price of what we have to pay to our suppliers. We don’t get the same price that Walmart gets.”
Some customers shared on Facebook that the Salisbury deli’s prices for 30 eggs went from $5 to $10.99 overnight, something the store says is a result of their supplier’s increase. “With that mark up that we had to pay, we had to add on to how we were selling it to cover our costs and we have to have some sort of profit off it and honestly it’s not very much off the eggs,” says Venables.
They say they understand people’s frustration with the increase but are reminding customers they aren’t forced to shop at their deli. “What I’ve been telling people is if you can find it cheaper, if you can find it at the supermarket, I’m happy for you, I want you too.”
They’re also reminding customers that selling grocery items is new for them but they’re just trying to survive as a small business. “We only did it because there was a need and if we are able to get these necessities that people need from our suppliers, why not get it? Why not sell it? Because honestly it brings people in the door . It allows us to stay open because we were worried because we can’t have dine in customers. That’s 75 percent of our business,” says Venables.
The owners of the Deli at Pecan Square insist they are not jacking up prices for their own profit. 47 ABC asked if they would show us a receipt to verify the price increase passed onto them but they would not do that.
If you suspect a store may be price gouging during the COVID-19 outbreak you can use the follow resources:
- Complaints in Maryland can be filed online here. If you prefer to file a complaint by mail, click here and follow the instructions for filing a General Complaint.
- If you have questions,you can call the Consumer Hotline at 410-528-8662.
- Consumer complaint forms can be found here and should be submitted along with emailing any supporting documentation to email@example.com.
- Consumers with additional questions can contact the DOJ’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-220-5424.