Tourists from Saudi Arabia are initially thought to have been buying up stocks to avoid higher prices back home, but now speculation abounds that suppliers or retailers are deliberately withholding stock to cash in when prices rise.
According to one company salesman, they have been instructed not to supply shops anymore as they have already exceeded their sales target for the year. A cold store manager Nawas Parayil, reported that delivery of some cigarette brands had more than halved–adding the shortage was compounded by shoppers buying up stock whenever it arrived.
One Bahraini claimed a supermarket had cigarettes in stock, but was not selling them–waiting for the prices to increase or reselling them in Saudi as “a packet of Marlboro, which costs BD1.4 in Bahrain costs BD2.6 in Saudi Arabia”.
Source Credit: Gulf Daily News