Countdown calls time on fireworks due to waning customer demand

Countdown will no longer sell fireworks due to a change in customer sentiment, with 66 per cent of customers indicating in a recent survey that they rarely or never buy fireworks for private use.

Almost half of those surveyed said they were buying less fireworks than two years ago.  Seventy-one per cent stated animal welfare as their most common reason for moving away from fireworks, with other reasons including fire safety concerns (49 per cent), environmental reasons (30 per cent), neighbour disturbance (34 per cent), and personal safety (30 per cent).

Scott Davidson, Countdown’s General Manager Merchandise, says this declining interest and conversations with their store teams led to the decision.

“Our customers have told us that while they still love to celebrate special occasions such as Matariki, Diwali, Chinese New Year and Guy Fawkes, backyard fireworks at home are becoming less of an occasion than they used to be.  We’ve decided to leave it to the professionals and we think the vast majority of our customers and our team will agree with this,” says Scott Davidson.

SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen says SPCA does not support the private sale and use of fireworks and is pleased to see fireworks off the shelves at Countdown.  
“Fireworks can be terrifying to animals, whether that’s on Guy Fawkes night or at any other time of the year.  Every year animals are injured, frightened, go missing or occasionally suffer abuse related to fireworks.
 
“While we urge pet owners to plan ahead and keep their pets inside, safe and happy on Guy Fawkes night, we know that’s harder said than done when fireworks are let off at all times over the Guy Fawkes sales period and beyond.  That’s why we welcome Countdown’s decision to stop selling fireworks at all,” says Andrea Midgen.
 
Throughout October and November, Countdown and the SPCA are teaming up to support the SPCA Community Pet Pantry donation bins in Countdown stores across the country.  Food and other items donated help support the work of the SPCA’s inspectorate team when they are out in the community.  Customers can donate canned pet food or pouches of dried pet food.
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