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Countdown The Palms re-opens today

Countdown The Palms reopened for business today, following an extensive recovery effort after the Christchurch earthquakes on February 22 and June 13.

The store, located inside The Palms shopping centre, was affected by minor structural damage as a result of the earthquake. In addition, more than 400 columns supporting the car park above Countdown had to be individually assessed with extensive safety checks.

The store was preparing to reopen at the end of June when another major earthquake struck on June 13, meaning all the columns needed to undergo safety assessments again.

Countdown The Palms store manager Richard Lough said that the team had been working hard to open the store. “Although it has been a slow process with many setbacks, there has been so much patience and dedication from the team,” Mr Lough said.

“We’ve had to remove all the stock from the store and then put it back in twice now – it’s been a huge effort and one we hope we never have to repeat.”

Countdown The Palms has reopened with contemporary ‘New Generation Countdown’ design features. In addition, the store will now have six self-service checkouts.

The store opened at 9:00am today, and is resuming normal trading hours of 7:00am to 10:00pm. All of the store’s 160 staff have retained employment, as part of Countdown’s commitment to providing employment for all 2,250 staff in the Christchurch area as the company worked to reopen its stores.

Countdown The Palms is the fourteenth store to reopen in the Christchurch area; Countdown Ferrymead remains closed with no opening date confirmed.

Countdown’s Managing Director Dave Chambers says Countdown Ferrymead was the worst affected store. “Throughout the entire recovery process we have been consulting engineers and construction teams to ensure every store in the Christchurch area reopened only when it was safe to do so,” he said.

“In the mean time, we are delighted to be able to offer our customers at Countdown The Palms the opportunity to return to their local supermarket,” Mr Chambers said.

Information on store openings will continue to be provided on the Countdown website and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/countdown.