The government has unearthed pricing scam at Nakumatt supermarket where the retailer is holding sugar in warehouses to only sell it at inflated prices at its stores in the guise that there is a shortage.
As a result, Nakumatt Holdings is now being investigated by the Sugar Directorate for knowingly conning Kenyans, making super profits in the process. The government maintains there is no sugar shortage to guarantee the commodity price increase.
The regulator, Tuko reports, maintains there is no sugar shortage to guarantee the price increase of the commodity at the retail stores.
“It has come to our attention that Nakumatt supermarket through its retail outlets is engaging in unfair trade practices by way of hoarding and rationing distribution of sugar,” Business Daily quoted a letter from the industry watchdog.
It added: “The supermarket is exposing consumers to unjustifiable cost of acquiring sugar, limiting the distribution of the commodity and negating the spirit of effective competition in the market.”
This happened after customers complained of hiked prices of the commodity at the supermarket.
According to BD, a Kilogramme of sugar at Nakumatt currently retails at KSh 145 up from KSh 125 two months ago with its management hoodwinking the consumers that there is a shortage of the product from the millers.
Tuskys and Naivas, the website notes, are selling the same commodity at KSh 135 per kilo.
The Competition Authority of Kenya has also made public its intention to investigate the matter.
This however isn’t the first time Nakumatt supermarket which has a regional presence, has been accused of discrepancies in the pricing of its products.
The Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) sued the retailer in June 2015 after customers complained that the prices of the commodity on its shelves do not correspond at the counter when someone is making the payment.