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Open letter to our customers on our hand sanitiser pricing

Dear Customer

Firstly, we wish to thank all those that have continued to purchase from us at this difficult time and for the positive and kind messages we have been receiving.  It has really helped and lifted our moral and is much appreciated.
However, we have also received a few emails and a number of comments on social media accusing us of profiteering from our hand sanitisers.  In fact, we have received several very hurtful comments with some people going as far as to say that they would like us to go bust and even to wish the management of Simply Argan dead!
 Accordingly, we just wanted to put the record straight on our hand sanitisers.
Our argan & gold hand sanitiser was priced at £6 for several years until September 2019 when we lowered the price to £3.90 as part of a promotion of this product.
However, at the end of January 2020 the costs had started to rise and so the price was put back to £6.
Then, in February 2020 when we again re-ordered, the costs had more than doubled from the previous order. Despite this, we only passed on part of this increase to our customers and we increased our price by c1.5 times to £9.50 rather than 2 times, which would have been required to maintain the same margin and would have been £12.
It should be noted that our suppliers were also not profiteering as their costs had also more than doubled.
Furthermore, we also tried to alleviate these increases to our customers by offering a 4 for 3 promotion, so that actual cost with this was £7.12.  However, as stocks ran low and with difficulty re-ordering we had to remove this promotion (we have now managed to secure enough stock to re-introduced this offer).
Therefore, because of these issues, we formulated a very effective but lower cost argan, aloe vera and tea tree hand sanitiser.
However, we are a small business and we do not have the purchasing power of the big companies.  Also, the price of some of the ingredients to make hand sanitiser has risen exponentially and are very difficult to source. Furthermore, all products that we make are made by hand.  All our staff have been allocated to procurement, logistics, making hand sanitisers and despatching orders and we have had to bring in extra temporary staff to help out.  All this results in this hand sanitiser being expensive for us to make and then the taxman takes £1.25 from every sale, by way of VAT.   
As a niche non-mainstream luxury beauty company we obviously cannot compete with mainstream brands on cost so we compete on quality, not price.
In addition, we are giving the argan, aloe vera and tea tree hand sanitiser away for free with any bottle of argan oil which have been the same price for years and we have not changed those prices.  Alternatively, we are giving it away for free with our newly formulated luxury hand oil.  We decided to marry these products together because frequent washing and alcohol will dry out the hands and our luxury hand oil or just pure argan oil is perfect to repair the damage done to the skin on the hands.
Obviously, at this time and understandably, there is little demand for our other luxury products.  We have therefore advertised these hand sanitiser offers but, to some people, simply adverting these offers has caused offence.  We obviously mean no offence and have simply diverted our attention to producing a much-needed product which is in short supply but have had to market it (to which there is also a cost) to make people aware of it.
Our team members are working 7 day weeks to make sure we get these hand sanitisers out to those that have ordered.  However, we are not complaining because, as we have said, sales of our other products has dried up due to the pandemic and this may help our business survive this crisis.
In light of this the management of Simply Argan would like to say a big thank you to our team for their extraordinary efforts.
We hope that those who have accused us now understand that rather than profiteering we have tried do our bit at this difficult time, whilst trying to generate enough sales to stay in business.
Finally, we wish you all well and hope you and your loved ones come through this.   At this difficult time we all need to pull together and to share the love, not the hate.
Kind regards
The Simply Argan Team