Ayrshire hardware store stripped of company branding over price hikes

Inex Irvine hardware shop

A hardware shop in Ayrshire has been stripped of it's branding for selling hand sanitiser at a massively inflated price.

Inex Irvine will no longer be allowed to use the Home Hardware Direct branding as a result of the price hike during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Hand sanitiser has been in short supply since the UK Government advised people to wash their hands regularly in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  As a result, sales have tripled in recent weeks.

An elderly woman who had previously paid just a pound for the hand sanitiser at the Irivine store, brought it to the attention of the community that the shop had hiked the price of one 100ml bottle to £6.99.  That represents a huge 700% price increase.

Home Hardware Direct has said that the store has harmed the company's reputation, and company directors have made the decision to order the store to remove the Home Hardware Direct branding as a result.

Brian Ferguson, Director of Home Hardware Direct told press "Their actions had a detrimental effect on the reputation of other members shops and also brought the Home Hardware brand into disrepute.

"Our shops are proud of the customer service that they offer and are very upset and angry that the Irvine shop tarnished our reputation with their actions."

The decision was then made to remove the branding and signage from the store in order to prevent any further damage to the company's reputation.

Ferguson added "Having consulted with our local Trading Standards representative, we have been advised that we have acted correctly under these difficult circumstances."

Owners of the Inex Irvine brand have since insisted that they did not intend to take advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak.

A statement which was taped to their window said "We are unable to get regular stock of these products at normal prices from our normal supplier Home Hardware Scotland Ltd, and are therefore having to buy at highly inflated wholesale prices.

"We honestly do not like to do this but our lovely customers are demanding these products so we are reluctantly having to get them in."

The company also announced that they will now remove the stock from the shelves and will not sell anymore until the crisis is over.

The statement added "We thought we were doing out dear customers a favour," the statement continued. "I guess they'll just have to wait till we can get these products from our normal suppliers at reasonable prices.

"Still, we are very sorry this has caused you discomfort and grievance."

Home Hardware Direct have already removed the Irvine store from their website, after taking the decision to cut all ties with the branch.

On Twitter, one social media user welcome the news that the store has been stripped of their branding.  He noted "Good to see Inex Irvine has been expelled from the Home Hardware Direct brand for increasing the price of a number of products in high demand as the country enters lock down. Sales of hand sanitiser have tripled as the outbreak has spread across the UK."

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