MTI asking retailer 3 Stars to explain high prices of masks following public complaints

No words.

Fasiha Nazren| February 11, 10:59 AM

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3 Stars, a retailer in Singapore, has been asked by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) to explain the basis of their selling prices for N95 and surgical masks.

This comes after public complaints made against the outlets for taking advantage of the novel coronavirus outbreak situation.

The retailer has several branches in Singapore, including one in Sembawang and at least two others at Tampines.

The company is required to submit explanations and full documentations explaining the basis of their selling prices for the sale of masks, including their cost price and profit margins.

From S$6 for small amounts of mask

On Feb. 10, a tip-off was sent by a Mothership reader alerting us of the marked-up prices for masks at a 3 Stars outlet in Tampines.

A small packet of surgical mask goes for S$6.

Photo courtesy of Mothership reader.

While another brand of mask goes for S$14.

Photo courtesy of Mothership reader.

A box of 50 surgical masks at Watsons is usually priced at S$12.

From S$6.90 for N95 mask

Two different types of N95 masks cost between S$6.90 and S$8.90 per piece.

Photo courtesy of Mothership reader.

Photo courtesy of Mothership reader.

Photo courtesy of Mothership reader.

In comparison, a pack of three N95 masks cost S$5.90 at Watsons.

S$29 for hand sanitiser

A 500ml bottle of hand sanitiser goes for S$29 at the Tampines store, which is about S$0.58 per 10ml.

Photo courtesy of Mothership reader.

Meanwhile, a 250ml bottle hand sanitiser goes for S$4.90 at Guardian, which comes to about S$0.20 per 10ml.

Near confirmed case

According to the reader, this store is located at Tampines Street 21.

Photo from Mothership reader.

This location is relatively close to Tampines Street 24, where the 31st person who was infected with the coronavirus in Singapore was reported to stay at.

Fine of up to S$10,000

According to a press release by MTI, the company has until Feb. 12 to respond to the Price Controller's queries.

Failure to comply can result in penalties of up to S$10,000 for the first offence and up to S$20,000 for the second and subsequent offences.

 

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Top image from Mothership reader