The Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has raised concerns that a section of retail chains are exaggerating the prices of goods and taking advantage of the Russia-Ukraine war which has sent food and energy prices soaring.
COFEK, in a statement, decried that there is an abuse of power between manufacturers and supermarkets and that many retail chains are varying prices at will and in an exorbitant manner.
“Our attention is drawn to the increasing number of complaints on retail chains taking advantage of the impending general elections, high inflation, and the Russian-Ukraine war to arbitrarily increase prices of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs),” COFEK in a statement.
A spot check revealed that the prices of several goods sold at supermarkets including tissue paper, cooking oil, and wheat flour had been revised upwards. Other affected goods cited by COFEK include maize meals, sugar, milk, and groceries.
It has therefore called upon the manufacturers to communicate their updated Recommended Retail Price (RRP) on their websites to enable consumers to make necessary price comparisons.
The lobby has also urged the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) to take immediate actions to restore order within the retail chains and the Retail Traders Association of Kenya (RETRAK) to rein in on their members.
“We urge the Ministry of Trade and Industry to develop a draft legislation on the regulation of retail chains in Kenya – from contracts with suppliers, their prompt payments, capping maximum variation levels from RRPs, Shelf versus till pricing; Selling expired goods and specifying other measures to protect the consumers that are increasingly falling victims to the insatiable greed by retailers to make unjustified income,” the federation said.