Sales of face masks increase in SA as first case of coronavirus confirmed
DURBAN - The coronavirus has swept fear across the world and on the heels of South Africa confirming its first case of the virus, people are taking precautions to protect themselves.
Some of the precautions that people have been taking include washing their hands for longer periods of time and wearing face masks.
Business Report spoke to two health and beauty companies about the sales of face masks and if there have been an increase in sales.
Brian Epstein the Operations Divisional Director for Dischem said that the fear of the coronavirus have affected the sales of the face masks that the company sells.
"We have had a dramatic increase in demand for face masks and we have experienced a large increase in sales as well as the need to replenish our stock more often than usual," said Epstein.
Dischem has also said that they have had some issues sourcing the product because of the virus and spoke about the ways that the measures that they have been replenishing their stock.
Epstein said, "There is a worldwide shortage of face masks and our suppliers are having difficulty in supplying stock however we have managed to source stock from various suppliers and have just received another shipment of stock which will be distributed to our retail outlets".
"Our customers are happy with the products that we have been able to offer them, there has been a lot of media hype and many articles on the subject ,and the public appears to be reasonably well informed about face masks and their varying degrees of efficacy in providing protection against contracting the corona virus," concluded Epstein.
Business Report also contacted Clicks about the sales of the face masks.
Clicks said that they have seen an increase in sales of both facemasks and all hand sanitisers. Stores are being continuously replenished with stock on all these products.
The rand extended losses after the announcement of the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in South Africa, weakening more than 1% against the dollar.
The currency weakened 1.4% during the course of Thursday, trading at R15.46/$, R17.30/€ and R19.99/£.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE