Major retailers have frozen prices during coronavirus threat, AG Dave Yost says

Cleveland.com | Jeremy Pelzer

Representatives from 15 major retailers have told Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost that they are voluntarily freezing prices, even as the coronavirus pandemic has led shoppers to stock up on items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

Speaking to reporters via Facebook Live, Yost also said his office has notified local governments around Ohio that, under state law, they can hold meetings electronically, so long as it’s made available to the public.

ost, a Columbus Republican, said during a phone conversation on Thursday that representatives from Walmart, Meijer, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Target, among others, said they will maintain existing prices – generally on all items, though he said it may vary retailer to retailer.

The AG noted that the retailers are not required to freeze prices under Ohio law. “But they are doing the right thing, and I appreciate the fact that they’re holding the line on prices, even on goods that are in demand,” he said.

Yost also said he asked the retailers to place limits on how much each shopper can buy of various in-demand items. The AG said his office has received anecdotal reports of long lines to buy toilet paper and shelves being emptied of hand sanitizer and bottled water.

But Yost said he was “encouraged” by his talk with the retailers that supply chains are being maintained and that there won’t be any shortages of goods unless consumers artificially create some by hoarding items.

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