Competition Authority orders Cleanshelf to refund customers for inflating hand sanitiser prices


People have been advised to use hand sanitisers to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19). PHOTO | NMG

Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has ordered Cleanshelf Supermarkets to contact and refund all customers who bought Tropikal hand sanitiser at inflated prices.

The Authority on Monday directed the supermarket to refund customers who bought the 960-pieces of hand sanitisers above the retail price and submit evidence of the same by March 26.

“Pursuant to the Authority’s suo moto investigations under Section 70A of the Act, the Authority established that the retailer has been unconscionably adjusting the prices of Tropikal brand hand sanitizers in contravention of section 56(1) of the Act, which states” it shall be an offence for a person in trade in connection with the supply or possible supply of goods or services to another person, to engage in conduct that is, in all the circumstances, unconscionable,” the statement read.

Cleanshelf Supermarkets normally retails 500ml Tropikal hand sanitiser at Sh800. On March 15, 2020, the Authority has established, the supermarket sold the products above the normal retail price up to Sh1000.

The prices were increased within hours.

“The retailer therefore exploited its relative strength as a retailer to commercially detriment consumers whose bargaining position has been diminished following the pronouncement of existence of COVID-19 in Kenya,” CAK said.

The authority thanked shoppers for reporting the retailer and urged members of the public with any information on artificial price adjustments to forward the complaint for scrutiny.


Hand sanitisers sales have spiked since Kenya reported its first case of coronavirus (Covid-19) on Friday. So far the country has a total of three confirmed cases and 45 people under quarantine.

At least 6,400 people have succumbed to the novel coronavirus globally, according to estimates by the Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

More than 153,000 people are infected, according to WHO.