As the number of coronavirus patients grow in South Africa, companies are trying to keep with the growing demand of hand sanitisers and face masks by consumers. 
Photo: IANS
As the number of coronavirus patients grow in South Africa, companies are trying to keep with the growing demand of hand sanitisers and face masks by consumers. Photo: IANS

Face masks and hand sanitiser sold out as quickly as stores replenish stock

By Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Mar 14, 2020

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DURBAN - As the number of coronavirus patients grow in South Africa, companies are trying to keep with the growing demand of hand sanitisers and face masks by consumers. 

Consumers are also complaining about the lack of stock on shelves and are being disappointed when they turn up at stores and cannot find stock on shelves. 

Brian Epstein, the Operations Divisional Director for Dischem said that sales of hand sanitisers and face masks has increased exponentially since South Africa reported their first case of coronavirus last week. 

According to Epstein their stock is getting sold out as quickly as they replenish stock but they do have stock on order and receive regular deliveries.

Epstein said that Dischem can still get supplies but suppliers have increased their prices dramatically

He also commented on whether Dischem has increased the prices of face masks and hand sanitisers in light of the coronavirus hitting South Africa.

"So far as our cost has increased we maintain the same markup as usual as far as we can absorb other increased costs," said Epstein. 

Clicks also announced that the company is holding all prices on hygiene products with immediate effect, following last week's announcement that South Africa has recorded its first positive test case for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

"We’ve seen an increase in sales of hygiene products, but we are keeping our prices unchanged. We are working hard to meet the surge in demand and are putting in place additional measures to ensure that shelves are restocked as quickly as possible," said Rachel Wrigglesworth, Clicks Chief Commercial Officer. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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