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Vendors bilk mourners, raise black clothes prices

BANGKOK: A random inspection found over 100 vendors in Bangkok have marked up the prices of black clothes during the mourning period for the passing of His Majesty the King, Department of Internal Trade (DIT) director-general Nuntawan Sakuntanaga said yesterday (Oct 24).

Bangkok Post

Tuesday 25 October 2016, 09:16AM

While shops and stores are selling out black clothing at premium prices, volunteers are dyeing light-coloured clothing black, usually to give away. Photo: Thiti Wannamontha
While shops and stores are selling out black clothing at premium prices, volunteers are dyeing light-coloured clothing black, usually to give away. Photo: Thiti Wannamontha

The inspection was conducted after the department received a number of complaints about black clothing being sold at high prices.

Ms Nuntawan said the inspection found more than 100 clothes vendors were exploiting the situation by selling black clothing at more than twice their price, particularly T-shirts with prices jumping from around B200 to B500 each, over the last 10 days.

She said most of the items also did not have price tags, which is stipulated by law.

Ms Nuntawan said warnings have been issued to the vendors. If they continue to fail to comply with laws and regulations, legal action would be brought against them.

Consumers who come across overpriced black clothing may file complaints with the DIT, she added.

After a recent surge in such complaints, the department also deployed more staff to conduct inspections in several provinces, she added.

Meanwhile, commerce permanent secretary Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa yesterday said she instructed the DIT to conduct a random inspection at Chatuchak Market in Bangkok on Sunday (Oct 23).

According to the inspection, out of 1,200 clothes vending stalls, 19 were fined for allegedly failing to provide price tags.

She said prices of black and white clothes at the market would vary according to the quality of the fabric. Regular T-shirts should be sold at B60-B150 each, while consumers can expect to pay B179-B280 each for polo shirts and B199-B300 each for long sleeved T-shirts, Ms Wiboonlasana said.

The ministry has also asked for cooperation from the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), which rents out land plots to vendors at the market, to help communicate warnings to shoppers, she said.

As for a mourning event for the late King jointly organised by the DIT and clothes manufacturers to give away black clothes to people nationwide, Ms Wiboonlasana said the private sector can’t yet produce enough black clothing to meet demand.

However, the problem should ease in a few days as many products are expected to arrive next week, she said.

The department also worked with Tesco Lotus to give away 55,000 black T-shirts at its 109 branches across the country. Tesco Lotus corporate affairs director Salinla Seehaphan yesterday said the event was first launched yesterday at nine branches in Bangkok.

The project will be expanded to 40 branches in other provinces on Nov 4 and then to 60 more branches on Nov 11, Ms Salinla said.

Many shoppers waited in line at Tesco Lotus’s Rama IV branch to receive a free T-shirt. Queue cards had to be distributed because too many people showed up.

Read original story here.



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