Walmart drops rapid test minimum purchase policy
Walmart has withdrawn a policy that previously required customers in Ontario to place an online order of at least $35 to receive a ‘free’ rapid test kit after Premier Doug Ford condemned the policy on networks social Wednesday.
The Ontario government announced Wednesday that it will make about 5.5 million tests available to the province each week in grocery stores and pharmacies. The announcement was made at a Walmart store in Kitchener.
Initially, Walmart required customers to place an online pickup order to receive a free COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit.
But to place an order online and get a free test kit, customers had to spend a minimum of $35.
On Wednesday evening, Ford posted a tweet in response to the buy-and-hold policy.
“Free means free,” he wrote. “We provide [rapid tests] for free and all participating partners must honor this – no minimum or mandatory purchase.”
“If they don’t, we’ll give them to retailers or pharmacies that do.”
CTV News Toronto asked Walmart for an updated statement in response to Ford’s comments, to which the company replied that it would withdraw the policy and give away the tests for free.
“Our intention for distributing the kits through our online grocery pickup service was to avoid the long lines in our stores and to deliver them to our customers in a safe, efficient and fair manner,” a doorman said. -word from Walmart to CTV News Toronto.
“However, we have heard the concerns raised today and will be making the kits available free of charge in our stores.”
Asked about the issue earlier Wednesday, the Department of Health told CTV News Toronto that individual retailers have the ability to determine how tests are distributed.
LONGO’S HAS A SIMILAR POLICY
CTV News Toronto reached out to Longo’s, another Ontario grocery store that only distributes rapid tests with online orders, which confirmed it had a minimum online ordering requirement of $50.
The $50 minimum for online orders was in place before the free test kits were announced, the company said.
They confirmed to CTV News Toronto that this will not change.
Other companies in Ontario, such as Rexall, will distribute rapid COVID-19 tests to cash registers on a first-come, first-served basis. No purchase is required.
Click here for a full list of where to find a free COVID-19 rapid test.