Retail group backs Attorney General’s efforts to curb pandemic price gouging

(The Center Square) – The president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association is applauding the Illinois Attorney General’s efforts to stop price gouging during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 33 attorneys general, has urged Amazon, Walmart, Facebook and others to monitor for price gouging practices by online sellers.

IRMA President and CEO Rob Carr said that price increases are not always the result of actions taken by retailers.

“For example, we have seen price increases in the meat and egg arena, and when you investigate that you find out that it is not the retailer that is increasing those prices, it is the supplier,” Carr said.

Carr said price gouging can be subjective.

“That’s where the Attorney General comes in and that’s where we have appreciated the approach Raoul and his staff have taken in terms of being deliberative about this and not hasty,” said Carr.

Raoul and the coalition of attorneys general cited several examples of price gouging, including a 2-liter bottle of hand sanitizer listed on Craigslist for $250 and packs of face masks listed for $50 on eBay.

Raoul encouraged Illinoisans to report price gouging and other unfair business practices connected to the COVID-19 outbreak at his office’s website.

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