The Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, has ordered the takeover of a private supermarket chain by the state food agency.
Speaking on television, he accused Dia a Dia of hoarding food during huge shortages in the country.
This week, soldiers and government workers were sent to branches of a large supermarket and pharmacy chain to supervise sales.
Venezuela’s economy has been heavily affected by the drop in oil prices.
Analysts also say currency controls that restrict the availability of dollars for imports has played a key role in creating the scarcity of many items.