News and media releases

The latest news and media releases.

Countdown’s 181 supermarkets throughout New Zealand can now accept UnionPay cards, the major payment method for Chinese tourists which are now accepted in 170 countries and regions across the globe.

 This collaboration sees Countdown become the first supermarket chain in New Zealand to accept UnionPay payment options (prepaid, debit and credit cards) as well as UnionPay QuickPass — UnionPay’s contactless payment service available with UnionPay chip cards, mobile phones and wearable devices.

Riki Kerekere from Countdown Meat and Seafood has taken out the title of Butcher of the Year and Corey White another butcher from Countdown has been crowned the Apprentice Butcher of the Year at the Grand Finale last night in Auckland.

Following tightly fought regional competitions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, involving over 50 competitors, the 10 finalists in each category battled it out yesterday afternoon before the winners were announced at the red carpet awards dinner.

This week Countdown’s team has celebrated its annual Trade Show, Supplier Update and announced their Annual Awards winners.

The annual event is a chance for team to get together and learn about upcoming products and initiatives, network and meet suppliers, as well as visit the trade expo to sample the latest products about to hit stores.

Almost half of all Countdown supermarkets will have removed single-use plastic carrier bags from 3 September, with a further 35 stores joining the roll-out to make the change to reusable bags.

The next 35 stores are in addition to the 52 Countdown stores throughout the country that are already single-use plastic carrier bag free. All stores in the Far North District and Taranaki are included in the 3 September roll-out.

Almost half of all Countdown supermarkets will have removed single-use plastic carrier bags from 3 September, with a further 35 stores joining the roll-out to make the change to reusable bags.

The next 35 stores are in addition to the 52 Countdown stores throughout the country that are already single-use plastic carrier bag free. All stores in the Far North District and Taranaki are included in the 3 September roll-out.

Countdown has today welcomed the Government’s announcement that single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out in New Zealand over the next year.

Countdown is proud to support the Sustainable Business Network’s Circular Economy Accelerator (CEA) in its work to complete a diagnostic study of New Zealand’s entire plastic packaging system.  The study aims to identify key challenges and interventions for the adoption of a circular economy approach to plastics.

Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Kiri Hannifin, says Countdown is focused on removing and reducing unnecessary packaging and plastic across its business and is committed to being part of the solution to New Zealand’s current plastic packaging problem.  

Countdown’s Onecard loyalty programme is celebrating its two millionth registration, just two years after joining with AA Smartfuel to help save Kiwis thousands on fuel and food.

Countdown also recently moved its rewards vouchers online, reducing the need for millions of envelopes and paper vouchers that were sent out each year.  Customers can now redeem their rewards at the checkout, and for the first time rewards can be redeemed at self-checkout and via online shopping as well.

Countdown’s annual Kids Hospital Appeal kicks off today for its 12th year, and aims to raise $1.3 million for children’s hospitals and wards throughout New Zealand. 

100% of funds raised* are donated to the hospitals for their “wish lists”, which this year include Gisborne Hospital’s first ever playground, building a parent room at the Special Care Baby Unit at WaitakereHospital in Auckland, supporting research in the Waikato by providing electronic diabetes monitors, and buying vital signs monitors and other essential equipment for Christchurch Hospital.

Countdown will phase out single-use plastic carrier bags at a further 42 stores from 13 August, resulting in more than two million less bags entering New Zealand’s waste stream each week.

This move means that nearly a third of all Countdown supermarkets across the country will have made the change to reusable bags, including all stores in Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson and Blenheim.