Walmart to pay SLO County $9,000 for price gouging

District Attorney Dan Dow

Walmart agreed Friday to pay $9,000 to San Luis Obispo County after violating price gouging prohibitions during the pandemic.

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order 0n April 3, 2020, prohibiting the sale of medical or emergency supplies that a retailer had not previously sold for “an unconscionably excessive price.” The order defined prices excessive that were 50 percent greater than the amount the business paid for the item.

In May 2020, Walmart started selling disinfecting wipes at an exorbitant profit. The disinfecting wipes were sold eight times to six separate households in San Luis Obispo County from May through June 22, 2020.

After discovering the violation, the SLO County District Attorney’s Office requested Walmart pay a civil penalty of $1,500 and an additional $7,500 for costs incurred in the investigation.

On Friday, SLO County Superior Court Judge Ginger E. Garrett approved a settlement stipulation of $9,000 between Walmart and the county.

“Protecting consumers in San Luis Obispo County increases the public’s trust in local business and fosters a level playing field for businesses in our community and beyond,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “This important settlement sends a strong message that we are looking out for everyone who lives in our community.”