Pharmacy group Dis-Chem has reported a surge in online sales due to Covid-19, saying the pandemic has brought forward an adaption by consumers to online retail.

Online sales surged 344% in the 24 weeks to August 15, when the pandemic disrupted trading. Revenue grew 8.8% to R11.7bn, the group said in a trading update.

“Covid-19 has matured the e-commerce environment and consumer adaption by three to five years,” Dis-Chem said.

“Over the past four and a half months, Dis-Chem played a vital role as one of the country’s essential service operators, supplying its customers with the necessary medicines and other products during the nationwide lockdown,” said CEO Ivan Saltzman.

“Despite the negative factors that constrained regular trading, we remained committed to meeting the needs and demands of our customers.” 

In morning trade on Tuesday, Dis-Chem’s share was up 2.65% to R18.21, putting it on track for its best one-day performance in almost three weeks.