By Nqobile Dludla
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa's Shoprite Holdings said sales of beauty products, such as coloring kits and conditioners, have increased in its supermarkets as consumers turn to "do-it-yourself" treatments while salons remain closed.
South Africa began to lift some restrictions on May 1, after a five-week blockade. However, under level four restrictions, the hair and beauty salons are still closed.
As a result, Shoprite and its chain of supermarkets Cheer saw a sharp increase in demand for ethnic hair care, especially extensions, relaxers, conditioners and other treatments. Hair coloring products have also gained popularity, he said, without providing specific figures.
In cosmetics, sales of nail polish increased dramatically, while face creams, cleansers and skin refreshers dominate sales of skin care products. Shaving products, specifically male disposables, are also growing strongly, said the retailer.
The increase can also be caused by many people who now have more time to do their hair and facials at home, as many hair care processes usually take a considerable amount of time.
"There may also be some evidence of the" lipstick effect ", where consumers tend to spend more on small indulgences during a period of economic stress," said Shoprite.
Its rival, Pick n Pay, said on Tuesday that it had a 92% growth in the volume of sales of hair coloring products during the five-week block on March 26.
Pick n Pay said that while it has experienced an increase in demand for personal hygiene, cleaning products, non-perishable foods and household items such as toilet paper before the blockade, customers have now decreased the number of shopping trips. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla, edited by Louise Heavens)