Dis-Chem's online sales more than triple as consumers shop from home

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Dis-Chem says during the lockdown, its retail revenue tanked 21% in April.
Dis-Chem says during the lockdown, its retail revenue tanked 21% in April.

Pharmaceutical group Dis-chem's online sales grew by 218.7% for the 22 weeks to 2 February as consumers have preferred to stay safe and shop from the comfort of their homes.

Dis-Chem released an update to shareholders on Wednesday and reported that stores in convenience centres are still outperforming those in more crowded malls due to Covid-19. A change in sales mix has put pressure on profit margins, which remain below pre-pandemic levels, the group said.

The pharmacy group said it recorded group revenue growth of 12.1% to R11.6 billion compared to the corresponding period, and gained market share as consumers focused more on preventive health care.

"Healthcare, vitamins and chronic drug sales reported remarkable growth as consumers continue to focus on preventative healthcare," said Dis-Chem CEO Ivan Saltzman

Dis-Chem has two operating segments - retail and wholesale. Retail revenue increased by 10.3% to R10.4 billion, while wholesale revenue grew by 20% to R8.6 billion.

The group said it added ten new stores during the same period which have contributed R123 million to revenue, validating the group's site selection method.

"We have engaged, and are well prepared, to assist the state with the vaccine rollout considering our differentiated clinic infrastructure," said Saltzman.

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