As we all know all too well, supermarkets in Costa Rica are out of a lot of supplies due to fear and precautions related to the COVID-19. I heard of a pharmacy that told people which day and time a shipment of alcohol gel would arrive and all that arrived was immediately sold out. People went to strange places to find the necessities, like buying alcohol gel and disinfectant from a paint store. In some storefront windows you see signs reading “No alcohol gel.”
Because of this chaos, supermarkets across Costa Rica are both coordinating with suppliers to get extra supplies and restricting the sale of cleaning and disinfecting products. Walmart, Auto Mercado, and PriceSmart, for example, are allowing each customer to purchase a maximum of three units of each of several hygiene products. This should prevent hoarding and allow enough supplies for everyone, ideally.
Walmart’s Corporate Affairs Manager explained that there is an increase in the demand for disinfectants, alcohol6 gel, and household and personal cleaning supplies. It is for this reason that the company is limiting how much we can purchase. “In this way, we ensure that all our customers have access to these products at a time when it is necessary to reinforce hygiene measures,” he said.
The MEIC Quality Directive makes visits to verify prices and assure customers are not taken advantage of because of supply and demand.