The major supermarket chains in Costa Rica implemented restriction measures regarding the sale of personal cleaning items, antibiotic gels and disinfectants (if they have any in stock) due to the spread of the new coronavirus covid-19 in the country.
Walmart (Walmart, Mas x Menos, Maxi Pali, and Pali stores), Auto Mercado and PriceSmart confirmed the limit of units sold per person due to the increased demand for these products.
Walmart stores have limited the sale of Lysol sprays, for example, to 3 per customer. Others, if they have stock, which most don’t, have also instituted limits per item per customer.
uisa Díaz, Quality Director of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), confirmed that limiting the acquisition of articles is a practice that is not prohibited in the country.
“It is a valid practice, from the point of view of consumer protection, because commerce protects having a product to continue selling and avoids the hoarding of other market agents,” Díaz explained.
Walmart is the major, in terms of the number of stores, 230 in all formats; Automercado has 21 stores; Pricesmart has seven stores in the greater metropolitan area.
Smaller chains like Megasuper, for the time being, have no limit on sales of these products, though their stock is very limited.
The Q did not get a reply from the other chains on their policies during this period.