Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: Tuesday, 7th September 3:12pm

Olive

Need more help? Speak to Olive, the Countdown Virtual Assistant

Our hard-working Customer Care team is experiencing a high volume of calls and emails at the moment so please use Olive, our virtual assistant.

Store information

Almost all of our stores are currently opening at 8am and closing at 9pm to help give teams time to restock shelves and meet the high levels of demand being seen across the network.

A small number of our Auckland stores are on slightly shorter hours due to some team having to isolate. To check if your local store hours have changed, check our Store Finder

 

Our stores will continue to operate with the same health and safety measures in place at both Alert Level 3 and 4.

We've reiterated to all our store teams that they need to keep an eye out to help ensure older Kiwis can get into our stores faster. As you can imagine, our teams are under immense pressure at the moment, so if anyone sees someone in the line who may need a little extra help, please let our team know.

We are continuing to monitor the situation at our stores, and overall queues are moving quickly so none of our shoppers are having to wait too long.

We do have a priority assistance service for older or vulnerable New Zealanders to help them stay at home, but due to the demand right across the country we're also asking anyone who can shop in store to do so, and to think about shopping for your neighbours or friends who might not be able to. Check out our priority assistance service for more information.  

 

We understand your frustration and appreciate your patience at this incredibly busy time. We’re currently experiencing an unprecedented amount of calls and our team is working hard to help all of our customers as quickly as possible. Please continue to treat our team with kindness and empathy, we’re all doing our best to help during this challenging time.

Alternatively, talk to our good friend Olive, who may be able to help answer any questions you might have.

With increased pressure on Auckland-based medical personnel, MIQ and emergency workers as they respond to the current COVID-19 outbreak, we have reinstated a priority shopping hour for these workers in Auckland.

In all our Auckland stores, from Pōkeno to Warkworth, we are allowing early access to NZ Police, fire service, MIQ, ambulance, paramedic, DHB, hospital and medical personnel with proper ID, from 7am - 8am everyday.

While we know this doesn’t include every essential worker in Auckland, our queues are moving quickly for the most part. We’ll continue to monitor this.

Currently our Albert Street Metro, Birkenhead, Halsey Street Metro, and Hauraki Corner, Mangere Mall and Takanini stores are all temporarily closed due to low team numbers and ensuring we have team members across as many other stores as we can.

Any of our stores which are locations of interest will close for deep cleaning, and re-open as soon as possible. We’re trying to keep customers and our website updated in real time as much as we can, but things are moving very fast.

Customers who typically shop in any of these stores are encouraged to shop at another store nearby. To find your nearest store, visit our store finder.

If you are wanting to temporarily work to support your local Countdown store during lockdown, please contact our employment partners AWF who are supporting us with recruitment during this time.

For information on how to get in touch, or to look at the roles we need support with, click here

 

Online shopping:

Our online delivery and pick up service is understandably seeing a lot of traffic at the moment and we’re working to add more pick up and delivery slots as soon as we can.

If our website isn't showing any available slots, please continue to search for the next available delivery slot. Unfortunately, our Customer Care team aren't able to arrange delivery slot bookings over the phone.

Because our Priority Assistance customers are more likely to get delivery slots, they will still be able to purchase Delivery Saver

We hope to have Delivery Saver back as soon as we can ensure delivery slots are more easily available for all our customers.

At Alert Level 4, all of our deliveries will be contactless.

 

To minimise time in store when you Pick up your order we have temporarily paused our Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) option. All orders will be packed into paper bags.

Our online shopping team are working hard and the service is operating as usual, so your order will be ready for you to collect or to have delivered at the time you selected. . 

Due to the high demand we may need to make substitutions if your first choice is unavailable.

Our online delivery service is understandably seeing a lot of traffic at the moment. 

If our website isn't showing any available slots, please continue to search for the next available delivery slot. Unfortunately, we aren't able to arrange delivery slot bookings over the phone.

 

The total value of your order is authorised by the banks when you place your order. This will show up in your bank statement as a pending payment. 

Your final payment is only taken on the day your order gets delivered. so that out of stock items can be removed from the total and you are only charged for what is delivered to you. 

It can take up to 7 days for the bank to update your statement to show the final amount, but you will only be charged for the amount of what was delivered. 

If after 7 days the amount in your bank statement does not reflect your invoice, then please get in touch with our team who will work to resolve this with you.

Unfortunately, with people buying more than they need at the moment, your online order might not be provided to you in full. There is plenty of food and groceries to go around, the demand we are seeing means it’s hard to get it through fast enough.

Please make sure you tick ‘Allow Substitutes’ for future orders so we can try and get you something else.

If you want to cancel your order you can do this up to 24 hours before. To do this our virtual assistant, Olive, can help by sending your details through to our Customer Care team, or call 0800 40 40 40 and have your order number ready.

 

Unfortunately, due to the high level of demand we are seeing for our online shopping service,  we aren’t able to change your order after it has been placed. Our customer care team are also unable to make these changes at this time. 

If you are able to, we’d recommend picking up anything you have missed in store. 

Shopping in our stores:

To make sure everyone has space to shop safely in our stores under Alert Level 4, we’ll be monitoring the number of people in our stores at any one time. Where possible, please only send one person per family to do the shopping and, if you’re feeling unwell, please stay home.

Pick Up orders can still be collected in our stores. If you are collecting an order in one of our stores, please use the separate Pick Up queue and follow our physical distancing guides.

We have a range of physical distancing measures in place in our stores under Alert Level 4 to keep our team and customers safe. This includes markings on floors, and closing off every second checkout and every second self-service checkout. We’d encourage you to use a shopping trolley as a guide for distance between you and other customers. 

We’d encourage customers to use contactless payment options where they can and keep up good hygiene practices by washing their hands regularly and using the hand sanitiser available in our stores.

As mandated by the government, all customers will need to wear a mask or face covering in our stores. We also strongly recommend that customers continue to check in using the COVID app.  

Under Alert Level 4, customers will be asked to pack their own bags to minimise contact in our stores and keep our team and customers safe.

Under Alert Level 4, our delis will be open, but the bulk food section will be closed. We will also not be accepting BYO containers, or providing a rug doctor service.

Yes. As mandated by the government, all customers will need to wear a mask or face covering when they are shopping in our stores.

 

The vast majority of our customers are already wearing a mask in our stores, which is great! We know that a few people might forget theirs, so our team will have some on hand if needed.  

The government has made face masks mandatory and we hope that all New Zealanders will understand the importance of this

All our stores will have signage to let customers know that masks are a condition of entry to our stores and we’ll have greeters at the entrance to help remind people to wear their mask and to scan in. We’ll also have some masks available for customers who might forget their own.

If there’s a legitimate reason someone isn’t able to wear a mask, such as a medical condition, just politely let our team know.

Masks are a condition of entry to our stores and for anyone who forgets, we will offer them a mask. We understand that for some customers, wearing a mask isn't possible due to health reasons. We'd ask those customers to either get a member of their bubble to shop for them or, if this isn't possible, let our team know and ensure they are socially distancing themselves from any other customers and our team.

Wearing a mask or face covering can significantly reduce the risk of people who have COVID-19 spreading the virus to others, so we’d ask all New Zealanders to play their part and mask up.

We’d recommend using cards and paywave where possible, but we will have dedicated checkouts accepting cash payments if needed.

A number of our team are already vaccinated as they have been included in the priority groups.

We’d like to see all our supermarket and supply chain teams prioritised for the vaccine and we’re working with the Ministry of Health on how quickly this can be achieved.

For the most part, our pharmacies are operating as normal. However, a small number have had to slightly adjust their hours due to staffing impacts.

Countdown Lynfield, Takapuna, Botany and Lincoln Road pharmacies are open from 9am-5pm, Countdown Newtown is open from 12pm-6pm, Countdown Fraser Cove will have shorter hours on Monday and Friday (9am-6pm) and Countdown Gisborne is open Monday to Friday 9am-7pm.

All of our specials are all running as planned.  

We know value for money is really important to people at a time like this, and we're continuing to do whatever we can to make sure people have food and groceries right throughout the country.

Product Limits:

We are putting a limit of six in place in Auckland for the following products:  toilet paper, flour, bags of rice, dry pasta, UHT milk, frozen vegetables, baby formula, pet food.

We also have a limit of six packs of meat for our Auckland customers, to ensure there is plenty for everyone.

We will continue to monitor stock levels but would remind New Zealanders that there’s no need to stockpile.

Due to global shipping issues, we currently have a limit of 6 on cat food products.

We’re continuing to monitor the situation, but unfortunately this limit may be in place for some time yet.

Stock levels:

No. We have plenty of food and groceries in New Zealand, and we make items like toilet paper right here. We’ll continue to manage any increased customer demand in our stores, but we also need customers to remember that when they buy more than they need, others will go without that day.

Customers should shop as they normally would and be thoughtful of others to ensure that all New Zealanders have access to the food and products they need. There is no need to panic about food and groceries.

Physical distancing:

Physical distancing is a term used by the Ministry of Health to describe less contact between you and other people.

The advice from the Ministry is that this will help prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19. The more space there is between you and others, the harder it is for a virus to spread.

The safety of our team and our customers is our main priority.

We’re supporting the Government’s recommendations to encourage physical distancing by using tools in our stores to help people create space between themselves and others, and our team. These include markings on floors, using the shopping trolley as a tool - supported by good hygiene practices.

The safety of our team and our customers is our main priority and we have a number of measures in place to help prevent the spread of the virus. These include:

  • Maintaining our comprehensive food quality and hygiene standards across the store
  • A detailed cleaning programme in our stores every day, supported by increased cleaning across high traffic areas.
  • Signs in stores to encourage good hygiene and care for each other
    • asking those who are self isolating to not enter the store.
    • sharing guidance on common hygiene and physical distancing.
    • advising to use the size of a trolley as a distance guide between each other
  • Floor marking distance guides at checkouts.
  • Limiting the number of customers in our stores.
  • Recommending customers use Paywave where possible.

Health and safety:

We have wipes at the entry and hand sanitiser at the exits of our stores nationwide for our customers and team to use.

We’re also reinforcing our good hygiene measures as well sharing Ministry of Health guidelines with our team. We’ve increased our regular store cleaning as a precautionary measure.

We are not currently accepting BYO containers.

The safety and health of our team is our priority. Across our business we have taken the opportunity to review our processes and are reinforcing our normal hygiene measures, sharing Ministry of Health guidelines on prevention and regularly communicating with our team across multiple channels about how to stay safe and healthy.

We have also put a range of measures in place that are designed to keep both our team and our customers safe and healthy. These include encouraging customers shopping in our stores to use their trolley as a distance guide and to follow new floor markings at checkouts. We’ve also got perspex screens in place at checkouts, service counters and pharmacies. We’ll also be putting up posters across the store to provide our customers and teams with helpful tips to minimise contact with others.

Other recommendations include using Paywave where possible and maintaining strict hand-washing routines prior to coming into our stores.
We’re following the government’s requirements around self-isolation for any of our team members who are returning to New Zealand from overseas travel or have been asked to self isolate.

The health and safety of our customers and team is our utmost priority. We’re continuing to reinforce our good hygiene measures as well sharing Ministry of Health guidelines with our team.

Supporting our team:

The safety, health and well-being of our team is our greatest priority. As our business is an essential service and our stores will be open each day, it’s really important that we look after them.

We are very grateful to our team members and suppliers who are working tirelessly to do the best job possible. Please continue to respect and support our team members, particularly if a product isn’t available or the checkout queues are longer than normal.

 

Priority Assistance service:

If you’ve previously been approved for our Priority Assistance service then this is automatically still available for you. You need to sign in to your Online Shopping account to see the priority time slots. 

You can apply for Priority Assistance via our website - just go to https://shop.countdown.co.nz/shop/content/priority-assistance and follow the instructions

Our online delivery and pick up service is understandably seeing a lot of traffic at the moment and we’re working to add more pick up and delivery slots as soon as we can, this includes temporarily closing some stores to help us service our largest stores and make sure we can keep online orders going throughout the country.

If our website isn't showing any available slots, this is because the service is full. We are working to make more slots available, so please keep checking back.

Unfortunately, our Customer Care team aren't able to arrange delivery slot bookings over the phone.