Price Increases at Village Grocer Angers Community

A large proportion of the residents of Dalabyggð, a municipality in West Iceland have added their name to a list of people unhappy that the Krambúð grocery chain has taken over the local shop in the village of Búðardalur and immediately raised prices. RÚV reports that many have stopped shopping in the village in protest.

Búðardalur has a population of 254 and is the main administrative and service centre in the municipality, with a petrol station, restaurant, coffee shop, health clinic, vínbúð, tourist information centre, and small grocery. According to a recent survey taken by residents, prices at the grocery have gone up as much as 25% since Krambúð took over the store and as such, they are opting to drive as far as the town of Borganes, some 78 km [48 mi] away, to do their shopping.

According to Baldvin Már Guðmundsson, who collected the residents’ signatures, the change in ownership of the grocery took locals by surprise and it’s had a significant financial impact. “It’s not good for our community here,” he said. Some may raise an eyebrow at the thought of driving two hours roundtrip to do the grocery shopping, but Baldvin Már asserted that in the long run, it’s worth it. “It can really pay off when the price increases are so great on necessities.” And it’s not just locals who are unhappy with the prices, he continued—tourists also find the prices high.

All the locals want now is for the store to return to its original ownership and go back to being a Kjörbúð, a different grocery store chain.

“We were quite happy with Kjörbúðin,” recalled Baldvin Már. “There was a good selection, the prices were okay, and there was no reason to go to Borganes, for example. People were satisfied with the shop and had started coming over from further away and it was all fine and good. Then we had this misfortune.”