South Africa's Shoprite Holdings said sales of beauty products, such as hair colouring kits and conditioners, have soared at its supermarkets as consumers turn to do-it-yourself treatments while salons remain shut.
South Africa started lifting some restrictions on 1 May following a five-week long lockdown. But under level four restrictions, hair and beauty salons are still closed.
As a result, Shoprite and its upmarket supermarket chain Checkers have seen a sharp increase in demand for ethnic hair care, especially extensions, relaxers, conditioners and other treatments. Hair colour products have also gained in popularity, it said, without giving specific figures.
In cosmetics, sales of nail polish have risen dramatically, while face creams, cleansers and skin refreshers dominate sales of skin care. Shaving products, specifically men's disposables, are also growing strongly, the retailer said.
The surge could also be driven 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 could also be some evidence of the 'lipstick effect', where consumers tend to spend more on small indulgences during a time of economic stress," Shoprite said.
Its rival Pick n Pay said it saw a 92% sales volume growth of hair colour products during the five-week long lockdown from 26 March.
Pick n Pay said that while it experienced a spike in demand for personal hygiene, cleaning products, non-perishable foods and household items such as toilet paper before the lockdown, customers have now cut back on the number of shopping trips.