The Range blasted for selling face masks for £40 during coronavirus

Billionaire ‘Deluxe Del Boy’ owner of The Range stores is forced to drop the price of his face masks after being accused of profiteering by selling packs for £60 – £20 MORE than retail

  • The Range has come under fire for selling disposable face mask packs for £40   
  • The boxes of 50 disposable face masks were £59.99 but were reduced to £39.99 
  • The outrage comes at a time there is a shortage of PPE for NHS and care workers 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Range founder Chris Dawson has come under fire for selling packs of disposable face-masks for almost £60 before they were reduced to £40 during coronavirus.   

The Range is selling boxes of 50 disposable face-masks for £39.99 after the price was reduced from £59.99.  

One shopper said: ‘Chris Dawson should be doing his bit like everyone else and donate these to the NHS, not profit off the back of them.

‘It is out of order and very disappointing to see.’

The packs of 50 disposable face masks being sold at the Range for £39.99 during the coronavirus pandemic. Founder Chris Dawson has come under fire for capitalising on the pandemic while the NHS and other workers suffer PPE shortages

Chris Dawson is no stranger to controversy and has compared himself to the Only Fools and Horses character Del Trotter

The fury comes at a time where NHS workers, care workers and shop workers are often left to go to work without PPE. 

The government has recently been criticised for changing its PPE guidelines according to their limited supply leaving NHS workers vulnerable to contracting coronavirus while they are treating patients. 

People took to social media to criticise the store chain with one person who works in dentistry saying: ‘I can assure you that masks don’t cost this. 

‘Using coronavirus as a scaremongering tactic to rip people off.’ 

Someone else compared the Range to another company in Plymouth that is making hand sanitiser for free 

This is not the Range’s first controversy during the coronavirus pandemic. 

They had to defend their right to stay open after the government ordered all non-essential stores to be closed. 

The Range managed to stay open because they sell groceries, cleaning products, medicines and toilet roll. 

Long queues outside the Range in Derby on Sunday after it was allowed to stay open because it sells essential items like groceries, cleaning products, medicines and toilet roll

Who is Chris Dawson? 

Founder Chris Dawson, pictured, likens himself to Only Fools and Horses legend Derek Trotter, driving a Rolls-Royce with the registration DE11 BOY.

The market trader turned billionaire only learned to read at 27, and has never even read a book.

Dawson met wife Sarah when she wanted to buy a watch off his stall – but didn’t have enough cash.

Founded in 1989, The Range is one of the UK’s fastest-growing retailers with over 150 stores.

It stocks more than 65,000 products across 16 departments.

Stores are meant to resemble markets, and Dawson visits each one six times a year by helicopter. 

Other stores have also been selling masks throughout the pandemic with Amazon offering packs of ten for £8.88 and packs of 50 for £33.99. 

B&M have caused similar outrage to the Range with their sale of 50 face masks for £49.99. 

Although the Range is not the only company to capitalise on the new demand for face masks it is a company that is no stranger to controversy at the best of times.

Chris Dawson, who is currently worth £2billion, has compared himself to the Only Fools and Horses character Del Trotter. 

The billionaire was blasted last year for blocking disabled parking with his £200,000 Ferrari at the opening of a new flagship homeware store in Plymouth. 

Keeping in line with his love of cars Mr Dawson’s Range Rover once had to be winched out the way of a funeral home because it was blocking the entrance. 

Chris Dawson’s £200,000 Ferrari blocking disabled parking spaces at the opening of one of his flagship stores in Plymouth 

The billionaire’s Range Rover blocking the entrance to a funeral home in Plymouth before it had to be moved out of the way

Chris Dawson started as a street trader and worked  himself up to founding a £46million chain of Range stores. 

The home, leisure and garden stores have been extremely successful and even saw a visit from the Duchess of Cambridge to do some last-minute Christmas shopping in 2018. 

Mr Dawson famously learned to read at 27 years old and boasts that he has never read a book. 

The Range has been contacted for comment.  

The number of COVID-19 deaths recorded in the UK has spiked today, following a pattern of lower numbers being recorded on Sundays and Mondays. The general trend, however, continues to move downward from a peak on April 8


A significant number of nurses, including some in the most high-risk environments, have felt pressure to work with inadequate protection, a union alleged.

High-risk includes areas where patients with or suspected of having Covid-19 were being treated on ventilators.

Nearly half of those surveyed from Northern Ireland (42%) helping patients in such areas reported being asked to re-use items of protective equipment marked single use by manufacturers.

Of those treating Covid-19 patients elsewhere, over a third (38%) said they were being asked to re-use. 

The findings are from a survey conducted by the College to provide a snapshot of PPE shortages over the Easter weekend.

Health chiefs in Northern Ireland say they have secured millions of items from international and local suppliers. 

The survey of nursing staff from Northern Ireland said:

– Almost a quarter of nursing staff treating Covid-19 positive patients not on ventilators report an immediate lack of face and eye protection;

– Less than half of nursing staff (48%) believe they have enough alcohol hand rub;

– One in 10 nurses is relying on face or eye protection they have bought or homemade.

– Over half did not have access to either suitable changing facilities (51%) or washing/ showering facilities (58%).








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