Menards is among retailers that Wisconsin officials are accusing of hiking the price of products that people are buying to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced that it had sent cease and desist letters by Monday to 16 companies after investigating complaints of price gouging at stores in Wisconsin.
Eau Claire-based home improvement retailer Menards received letters for alleged price gouging of hand cleaner at its West Milwaukee store and Lysol wipes in its Burlington location. Menards' website was also accused of hiking the price of N95 face masks.
Another merchant sent a cease and desist letter was Marketplace Foods, which was accused of price gouging on toilet paper at its St. Croix Falls store.
On Tuesday, DATCP stated it had gotten dozens of complaints and conducted thorough price checking at over a hundred stores across the state before issuing the letters.
"While it is not uncommon for prices to increase during times of high demand or low supply, DATCP will be closely monitoring the marketplace to ensure consumers are being treated fairly," Lara Sutherlin, administrator of the department, stated in a news release.
In a news release, the department highlighted online retailer N95Sales.com for suspected price gouging on face masks that are in short supply in Wisconsin and crucial for front-line health care workers.
Other companies served with cease and desist letters are Ace Hardware, Asian International Market, Dollar Tree, El Rey Foodmart, Matrangas, Pacific Produce, Restaurant Depot, Walgreens, Walmart, C&S Supermarket, Cermak, Grainger and Point Market. They are accused of unlawfully raising prices on foods, cleaning products and personal hygiene supplies.