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Key Food on Northern Boulevard Accused of Price Gouging, Faces $14.5K Fine

Key Food, at 86-02 Northern Blvd., accused of price gouging (Photo: Google)

April 28, 2020 By Christian Murray

The Dept. of Consumer and Worker Protection has filed a case against Key Food on Northern Boulevard accusing the store of price gouging.

Key Food, located at 86-02 Northern Blvd., is one of three businesses that is being prosecuted, with one in Manhattan and another in the Bronx.

Key Food is accused of hiking the prices on bleach and disinfectant wipes. DCWP has issued the supermarket with 29 violations and the store faces $14,500 fines. Each violation comes with a penalty of up to $500.

The case will go before the City’s Office of Administration Trials and Hearings, where a final determination will be made.

“Pricing gouging is not just immoral—it is illegal,” said DCWP Commissioner Loreli Salas in a statement. “We will not tolerate price gouging and it is shameful for businesses to take advantage of consumers during a public health crisis.”

The owners of this Key Food could not be reached for comment.

DCWP is inspecting stores based on consumer complaints and is filing lawsuits against repeat offenders. The agency has filed seven cases– including against Key Food–since March 5 against serial price gougers.

Businesses that hike the price of any personal or household goods needed to prevent or limit the spread of COVID-19 by more than 10 percent are in violation.

The agency has received more than 8,800 complaints since March 5, when it first declared face masks in short supply and placed a 10 percent limit on how much the prices could be hiked.

DCWP then expanded the order—and the 10 percent limit– to include hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes on March 10 and then all personal and household items needed to combat COVID-19 from March 15 on.

The agency has issued 4,400 violations across the city since March 5.

DCWP is calling on consumers who have been overcharged to file a complaint at nyc.gov/dcwp or by contacting 311 and saying “overcharge.” Consumers are advised to keep their receipts.

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34 Comments

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Amy

Been a regular shopper here and have noticed how much the prices haver gone up. Some are placed on shelves so on a quick look you are misinformed about the price. Many products these days have no price so you have to check at one of the machines. Shame, used to be a nice store. Paid over $6 for a dozen eggs! If they are fined the prices will go up even more. Such immoral behavior!

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Kenneth DiLorenzo

Mi Tierra supermarket on 82-81 Street and northern Blvd is also a place that needs to be fined. It has its price gouging and a lot of foods look terrible. Eggs for a dozen are almost $6. Something needs to be done

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Nicolas roque

Im from harlem theres a 99c store called douglas across from the drew hamilton houses on 143rd st on fredrick douglas blvd in harlem a big container of bleach cheap is $3.49 my son went to get bleach $10 n clorix bleach has went up also by 4$

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Carmen

Its about time, they ticket this supermarket s And store For over charging us consumers ourage price all stores …its been doing over pricing ..Knowing people have no money and struggle shame On them …

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Donna

How do you know if the store is price gouging I bought hand sanitizer 699 at Raindew Francis Lewis Boulevard 8 ounce bottle

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Freddy

Hi I went to like 4 times there and the price of the products are overprice I’m usually buy the milk nido for my daughter in 31 dollars afther covi-19 the price went to 36 dollar !!!

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Jude

The key food super market at 86-02 Northern Blvd. should be closed down because they are ripping people off

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GAP

The store is convenient too the proximity of where I live. However, it is shameful that they are taking advantage of the community during such difficult and uncertain times. Price gouging is despicable!

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Maria

I live close to this keyfood and it’s where I shop and yes the prices are extremely high even on the food.. Normally I spen 200 dollars on groceries weekly here and since all this is going on I’ve been spending extra 80 to 100 dollars on the same groceries.. it’s ridiculous that these ppl are taking advantage of our neighborhood.. I’m definitely taking my shopping else where..

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Jude

They are a bunch of crooks at that key food! Beets sell tat 1.99 a pound that’s outrageous! I’ve seen strawberry at 6.99 a pound!

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Natalia

I’ve been charge $40 dollars for a Gallon of Alcohol at Optima Beauty supply in Roosevelt Avenue and 85 street. Unfortunately I already throw away the receipt. i wish I hadn’t

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Deysi Guzman

I was overcharged for one pack of eggs here in keyfood in 161st Yankee stadium key food. $7.59 for a pack of eggs. This is so ridiculous. The most I have paid is $4.00 for a pack of eggs. The delis in the area are also price gouging.

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The truth hurts .

The Health dept should check the refrigerators there & the expire food they put on sale .

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Ramon

Their fruits and vegetables are also ridiculously high compared to their competitors and the quality very poor

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Anjielia Rai

They should check all the Key Food and Food Universe, they all doing the same thing.

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Deb

Absolutely! A dozen eggs over $4, fat filled meats sky high. Every market is getting away with this.

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Michael Guterman

I am stunned! I can’t believe the owners knew about this! They are very Community minded down to earth guys! IF there is any truth in this, it can only be the work of a manager or assistant manager. The owners would never be involved in this!

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Rick

I hope Jessica Ramos does something about this or at least speaks up for the community, She is the Senator.

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Anita Lynn Brady

I can’t believe they actually had those products in stock?! None of the stores in Northern CA have had wipes or bleach for weeks.

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Queens Resident

Which is the exact reason why “price gouging” laws are ridiculous. Allowing stores to price without interference incentivizes suppliers to produce quickly and efficiently and disincentivizes consumers from hoarding. Everyone gets what they need—albeit at a slightly higher price temporarily. Allow stores to set their prices and let the market work. Price gouging does the opposite of what it’s intended to do. People with deep pockets can hoard, the poor are left with empty shelves.

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Sonia

I went shopping there they charged 8.99 on bacon I also notice a lot of regular items were over priced,they should be ashamed of themselves.I also noticed they turned an elderly man away because he didn’t have gloves it broke my heart they should at least provide gloves for their shoppers ,especially the elderly who knows how hard it was for this man to get there and be turned away.

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Sara Ross

Sonia, I assume he was wearing a mask but gloves aren’t mandatory. This key food sounds like it’s run by horrible people.

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Mirna Torres

Yes, I stopped at that super like I used to do after work and notice the high prices, I even told the cashier, they also had a price on the brown sugar, and I went to pay the cashier told me special was over.

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