On Friday, shortly after INDEC released March inflation data, which showed a monthly rise of 7.7%, Commerce Secretary Matias Tombolini blamed the alarming inflation figures local companies, which he defined as “price makers”.
At that time, the official showed, with examples, the increases of some products in supermarkets and warehouses or self-service shops, where the Fair Price agreements, which the government has sealed with large surfaces, do not reach.
Among the accusations, the official pointed out: “we are seeing that the behavior of these price makers in terms of compliance in hypermarkets is correct, but they do not comply in local establishments, where more than 60% of our compatriots’ consumption transits”, he said .
Then, the answers from the shopkeepers were not long in coming. The president of the Buenos Aires Shopkeepers Federation, Fernando Savore, has criticized the government’s price control program and warned of the industry’s malaise due to the rate of inflation. Also It has targeted wholesale distributors, who supply local businesses, due to the high cost of food.
“What should be done here is a study of costs and determining who the price speculator is,” Savore said in radio statements. In this sense, she explained it the situation is out of control and that the Government “insists on failed programs”, referring to fair prices.
Savore complained about the expense of the warehouses in relation to where they are located, because, as he pointed out, a 90 square meter business has a “17% operating cost” between social security contributions, taxes, services and other expenses , so much so that the profitability amounts to 25%”. And he warned: “many times the situation is complicated to such an extent that” it takes away your profitability and you have to put it out of your own pocket, “he said.
Regarding customer response to price increases, the leader commented that customers notice a drop in consumption of some products starting from the 15th of the month; Until then, “people treat themselves,” he described him.
The Córdoba Province Center for Shopkeepers and Merchants also responded to the reactions of the shopkeepers in Buenos Aires. Through a statement, the entity recalled this “proximity trading was not, is not and will not be a price maker”. he pointed.
“ The last link in the marketing chain receives prices from its natural suppliers, charges its usual profit margin (which, governed by stiff competition, cannot keep up with the market) and sells direct to the consumer,” he said. indicated which group. Finally, he underlined that “local businesses, by unilateral decision of the National Secretariat of Commerce, do not adhere to the Fair Prices Programme, and therefore cannot obtain supplies of goods at regulated prices. So it is absolutely impossible to comply with an agreement of which it is not a part of,” he summed up.
Charles Arterburn is a seasoned business journalist for News Rebeat, where he provides comprehensive coverage of the latest trends and developments in the world of finance and economics.