Our company

Countdown is Aotearoa’s leading supermarket brand, serving more than 3 million customers every week.

We’re committed to providing our customers with choice, value and convenience, so they’ll enjoy the best overall shopping experience.

With over 185 supermarkets across New Zealand supported by 21,000 team members, we give our customers a choice of more than 20,000 different products in each of our stores.

Behind the scenes, our in-store teams are supported by four dry grocery distribution centres, three fresh produce distribution centres, three chilled and frozen distribution centres, two meat and seafood processing plants and two support offices.

Moving products from these hubs to our stores means our drivers have to travel more than 12 million kilometres per year, making over 250,000 deliveries to keep our stores stocked.

While we’re known as Countdown, we form part of Woolworths New Zealand, a subsidiary of the publicly-listed Australian company, Woolworths Group Limited. In addition to Countdown, Woolworths New Zealand is also the franchise coordinator for the Fresh Choice and SuperValue banner groups. That's why you might see packaging or advertising that states that a product is exclusive to Countdown, or only sold at Countdown, or exclusive to Woolworths, also sold at these stores.

Our leadership team

Spencer Sonn - Managing Director

Spencer is the Managing Director of Woolworths New Zealand.

Joining the business in early 2021, Spencer came from Woolworths Holdings South Africa where he spent the previous five years as the Managing Director Food, responsible for the food and innovation portfolios across more than 400 supermarkets and 33,000 team members.

Spencer has a 25-year grocery career behind him, starting out on a store management graduate programme, and progressing through a variety of roles to gain valuable experience in fresh and long life food, operations and buying.

Arjern Ramnarayan - Director of Supply Chain

Arjern is the Director of Supply Chain and most recently led Countdown’s supply chain transformation team, overseeing the development of a strong vision for the future of Woolworths NZ’s supply chain.

Arjern moved to New Zealand in 2016, but started his retail career at Woolworths South Africa, working in various support roles across merchandise planning, replenishment and supply chain.

 

 

Bríd Drohan Stewart - Director of Brand

Bríd is the Director of Brand. In her role, she leads creative development of the Countdown brand and is responsible for making sure we reach customers with the right message, in the right environment, at the right time. Bríd joined Countdown in 2020 and has over 25 years strategic brand and retail experience. Prior to her current role, she held a number of senior roles in The Coca-Cola Company, McDonald’s and Mondelez.

 

 

Clement Chia - Director of Finance

Clement is the Director of Finance and joined Countdown in mid-2022.

Clement came to the business from Sanford Limited, where he most recently held the role of Chief Operating Officer and prior to that, Chief Financial Officer. He has had a varied career with a number of senior finance across and business information roles helping to develop his unique and impressive skill set finance, strategy, operations and P&L management.

     

James Radcliffe - General Counsel

James is General Counsel for Woolworths New Zealand. James has more than 25 years’ legal experience. He joined Woolworths New Zealand in 2015 and is responsible for leading the Legal Services Team.

     

Jason Stockill - Director of Stores

Jason is the Director of Stores and leads Countdown’s store operations. Over his time at Countdown, Jason has held a number of roles within the Operations team and more recently led the Format Development & Property team before moving into his current role. 

Jason started his Retail Leadership career working within Sainsbury's Supermarkets in the United Kingdom for 15 years before moving to New Zealand and joining Countdown.

    

Josh Gluckman - Director of Strategy and Transformation

Josh Gluckman is the Director of Strategy & Transformation. He is responsible for overall customer-led strategy design and delivery as well as leadership and transformation of data, analytics and insights capability.

Josh joined Woolworths New Zealand in 2013 and has worked extensively across commercial, customer and operational strategy. Prior to Woolworths, he worked for a number of  years as a management consultant focused on strategic transformation, most recently with L.E.K. in Melbourne. 

 

    

Kiri Hannifin - Director of Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability

Kiri is the Director of Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability and leads the health and safety, quality and food safety, sustainability, media, public relations, government relations, stakeholder engagement, community investment and corporate social responsibility portfolios. 

Kiri has extensive communication and corporate affairs experience from within the public, private and not for profit sectors in New Zealand and abroad.

    

Matthew Grainger - Director of Format, Network Development and Property

Matthew is the Director of Format, Network Development and Property. In his role, he leads the development, management and maintenance of Woolworths NZ’s property network across New Zealand. 

Matthew has extensive leadership experience in property development across the retail sector and joined Countdown in 2018. Prior to his current role, he held a number of senior roles in Countdown’s Property team.

    

Pieter de Wet - Commercial Director of Fresh and FoodCo

Pieter is the Commercial Director of Fresh and FoodCo and is responsible for leading Countdown’s fresh food and Own Brand teams. 

Pieter joined Countdown in 2021 and has over twenty years of experience in retail, spanning across South Africa where he held senior commercial roles at Woolworths South Africa and Australia where he established the David Jones food business.

       

 

Steve Mills - Commercial Director of Packaged Goods, Drinks, Everyday Needs and Replenishment

Steve is the Commercial Director Packaged Goods, Drinks, Everyday Needs and Replenishment. 

Steve has more than 30 years of experience at Countdown - beginning his career as a Butchery Manager in our Porirua store and spending time in operations as an Area Manager before joining the buying team in 1991.

 

 

We are proud of our people and are committed to helping every team member realise their potential.

Join the Countdown team and grow your career beyond where you ever thought possible.