Twitter | @_schuermann

Denmark Supermarket Uses Clever Price Trick To Combat Hand Sanitizer Hoarding

Caitlyn Clancey 21 Mar 2020

The coronavirus has worried people everywhere flocking to their local grocery stores to stock up on essential supplies, including toilet paper, canned goods, and hand sanitizer.

This phenomenon is known as panic-buying, and it's definitely not just happening in the U.S.

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We're seeing similar instances of fear-induced shopping that's leading to empty shelves and a serious lack of supplies.

Denmark's government has recently called on its citizens to resist hoarding food and other supplies after local supermarkets were wiped clean this week.

While that seemed good enough for most stores, one supermarket took things just a step further and employed a clever price trick to stop customers from hoarding hand sanitizer.

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A photo of a price notice at Hellerup Foodmarket went viral this week for its extreme price hike on the disinfectant.

Twitter user @_schuermannn posted the photo of a notice the store taped to its display of hand sanitizer which, when translated to English, explains that one bottle costs 40 DKK ($5.73 USD), but any more than that will cost 1,000 DKK ($143 USD) each.

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On Twitter, the photo of the unusual pricing has gone viral and earned the store admiration from people all over the world.

"Amazingly simple idea that would be effective," this user wrote, while another added, "Brilliant [...] We need more innovative ideas to prevent the current empty shelves."

This user applauded the store and said, "It will certainly reduce it massively and also make people actually think about how ridiculous their selfish behavior is."

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Other people were less supportive and thought the supermarket could have taken a different approach.

"Or you just simply put a limit on it like they do with literally everything else that goes on sale like soda, for instance," this person pointed out, with several other people echoing this approach in the comments, too.

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A few Twitter users praised the store's approach, but said it wasn't exactly ideal for larger families.

This person commented that some families can't live on just one bottle of hand sanitizer.

"Good idea," they wrote, "but difficult for people like my sister who has to buy for my housebound parents."

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Hellerup Foodmarket shared a notice to their Facebook page explaining the new pricing.

Facebook | Rotunden - Hellerup Foodmarket

As the translated post reads,

“Dear customers, We have a great responsibility to keep the business running, and we can only do that with everyone’s help and understanding. I can help in the following way: We ask all customers to respect the distance between each other and our co-workers; Sprinkle (likely sanitize or wash) hands off at the entrance and use gloves; If you are a family, please allow only one person to purchase the purchases if possible; There may be times when we limit how many customers we accept in the store at one time. We will keep you informed about any operating changes on Facebook. Take care and thank you for your understanding,”

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Rasmus Vejbaek-Zerr, the shop's manager, explained this extreme measure is in an effort to get people to think about their actions.

Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

"I did it so that people would look at themselves in the mirror before taking it in their shopping basket," he told Danish news outlet Ekstra Bladet. "Before, there were many customers who bought four to five pieces at a time, so it's much more important than yeast."

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Vejbaek-Zerr said the outrageous price is actually working, and people are buying less hand sanitizer.

Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

Their supply sold out in just a few minutes last week. But after re-stocking it with the new price notice, the manager reported that the bottles lasted for six hours before the shelf was empty again.

h/t: Ekstra Bladet

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