Supermarkets urged to give more back to society - RTHK
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Supermarkets urged to give more back to society

2020-09-23 HKT 14:40
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  • DAB lawmaker Vincent Cheng said even though products sold at the two major supermarket chains are discounted, they still contain a profit margin. Photo: RTHK
    DAB lawmaker Vincent Cheng said even though products sold at the two major supermarket chains are discounted, they still contain a profit margin. Photo: RTHK
Hong Kong's two leading supermarkets have come in for more criticism despite offering vouchers and discounts to the public amid the coronavirus outbreak, with fresh complaints about what people see as high prices as well as the companies' failure to benefit the public upon receiving a government subsidy to save jobs.

Callers to the RTHK's Millennium programme on Wednesday said prices at the two major supermarkets, ParknShop and Wellcome, were higher than usual during the pandemic.

One caller pointed out that the price of cabbage was several times more expensive at the chains than at the wet market, and prices of rice and cooking oil were also higher than usual.

The two chains, which dominate the market, "make all the money", said another caller.

On Tuesday, ParknShop and Wellcome announced they will issue cash coupons worth millions of dollars to low-income households. They also unveiled another discount coupon plan, worth around HK$400 million, for the general public.

But lawmaker Vincent Cheng from the DAB, the city's biggest pro-Beijing party, said the plan of the retail chain owners to return to the people an amount equivalent to about 50 percent of the subsidy they'd received from the government was too small.

Cheng said they should give back at least 80 percent of the money they got from the government's job-retention scheme.

He said the supermarkets are still making a profit despite selling items at a discount.