Canadian Tire Corporation has pulled locally produced hand sanitizer by 62 Degrees North from Yellowknife store shelves.
The move followed inquiries to Canadian Tire corporate from NNSL Media about the store selling sanitizer at a higher cost than competitor Shoppers’ Drugmart. Earlier this month, Canadian Tire was selling its 233 ml product at $13.98, while Shoppers’ sold its 237 ml sanitizer bottles for $9.99. 62 Degrees North makes both products.
Cathy Kurzbock, Canadian Tire Corporate spokesperson, said the store’s price was suggested by 62 Degrees North.
“This particular brand of hand sanitizer is not carried across our network of stores. It was independently sourced and sold by the Associate Dealer,” she wrote in a statement April 15.
At the time, the store didn’t have sanitizer available, which led the store “to support a local business and meet the needs of customers,” she wrote.
“The selling price was suggested by the manufacturer, however, this product did not comply with our corporate sales protocol and has since been removed from the store and is no longer being sold.”
She further noted the local store’s dealer was an active member of the community who “donated surgical masks to the Stanton Territorial Hospital and funds to community organizations such as the Salvation Army, YWCA, Avens Seniors Home and the local school board.”
Kurzbock did not elaborate on what corporate protocols were broken.
Matt Vincent, president and CEO of 62 Degrees North, wasn’t aware the product at Canadian Tire was pulled. He said pricing the bottles’ is up to the vendors and varying prices are common between stores.
Differences in containers don’t have a significant impact on price if they’re the same size, he added.
When called about available stock on April 21, the Yellowknife Canadian Tire store didn’t have any hand sanitizer available for customers.
This follows increased demand for sanitizers and other protective supplies that Yellowknife businesses reported have been lacking in the past month as residents grapple with the pandemic. 62 Degrees North sanitizer continues to be sold at other outlets.
Health Canada has approved the 62 Degrees North sanitizer for general use, according to Charlotte Digness, a spokesperson for GNWT cabinet.
“The (Chief Public Health Officer) as part of the powers granted to her under a public health emergency can authorize people or companies to help reduce the risk to the public health, and can procure and provide for the distribution of medical equipment throughout the NWT,” she wrote.
She offered an example of the officer authorizing Taiga Labs to provide hand sanitizer for clinical use.
“62 Degrees North has not been authorized for clinical use by the Chief Public Health Officer, but their product is forming a vital part of our local, general-use supply,” she wrote.