The management of Royal Supermarket Company Limited “sincerely apologised” on Tuesday morning in a statement for what it described as “price confusion” concerning some of its goods.
The apology came hard on the heels of the Consumer Council’s rare decision to withdraw the supermarket chain’s “Certified Shop” seal of quality in response to hundreds of complaints by consumers about alleged price gouging by the company.
According to the complaints, the supermarket chain is alleged to have raised its prices by up to one-third on May Day, when local shoppers started to use their government-issued consumption subsidy smartcards. The widely perceived price gouging resulted in an outcry on social media.
Royal Supermarket initially made its Chinese-language apology via its WeChat account. In the afternoon, the company uploaded the apology to its website.
The apology said that after listening to comments from the public, the company had begun to check the prices of more than 100,000 goods and also to re-examine the discounts of all products.
“Accurate pricing is our responsibility, and we promise to strengthen the implementation of price verification in the future,” said the apology, which also promised to provide the public with “more direct and transparent” cashback offers and discounts. As part of the apology, the company pledged to announce details about the future discounts on its website www.royalsupermarket.com.mo as well as at its branches within a matter of days.
The apology also announced the setting-up of a WhatsApp hotline (6688 2207) for shoppers to send their comments.
The apology was issued by the company’s general manager, head of operations and head of its information technology department.
According to the statement, the management team “once again apologises for the incident, and we will continue to do our best to serve Macau citizens in the future.”
The supermarket chain, known in Cantonese as “Loi Loi” (“Come, Come”) was established in 1997. It is reportedly Macau’s number-one supermarket company, owning over two dozen outlets.