30/08 Media statement on Countdown's current status re: COVID-19 Alert Level 4

Please attribute to Kiri Hannifin, Countdown's General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability. 

Countdown has today opened its new Palmerston North Distribution Centre three weeks ahead of schedule, to help manage the increased demand across our supermarket network during lockdown, with stock being sent to stores from the new facility from today. The $100 million Distribution Centre is as big as four rugby fields at 38,000sqm, and is three times Countdown’s old facility in Palmerston North. Once fully operational the new centre will deliver to 55 stores across the North Island, and move approximately 450,000 cartons of food and groceries each week.

In the last week Countdown has sent just under 3.5 million cartons of food and groceries to its stores around the country, including an extra 100,000 crates of fresh fruit and vegetables - an increase of 25 per cent vs the week prior.

There are now 114,000 people registered for Countdown’s Priority Assistance service, and we are seeing good availability for priority customers as well as a lot more delivery slots opening up for other customers as well. Customers who can shop in-store should still do so, and check with neighbours and friends who might not be able to go to the store.

This week we are very pleased to welcome back more than 500 of our team members who will be safely returning to work. Since lockdown began more than 2600 of our team have been unable to come into work at some point due to their store being a location of interest, having a household member at a location of interest, not having childcare available or because they are vulnerable to COVID-19.

Throughout the country, we are continuing to work with DHBs and the Ministry of Health to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine to our team, with many of our teams taking up this offer. This included turning our Auckland support office into a temporary vaccination clinic over the weekend for our distribution centre teams, and vaccinating 100 of our Palmerston North Distribution Centre team on Friday.

Twenty of our stores (see list below) have been visited by someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 , and we have seven stores temporarily closed due to low team numbers and ensuring we have team members across as many other stores as we can. These stores are: Countdown Halsey Street Metro, Albert Street Metro, Birkenhead, Hauraki Corner, Mangere Mall, Westgate and Takanini.

At this stage we are hoping to reopen some of these affected stores later this week including Birkenhead, Takanini and Mangere Mall on Wednesday 1 September and Hauraki Corner on Thursday 2 September.

Countdown locations of interest as of 11am 30 August:

  • Countdown Birkenhead - visited on Friday, 13 August 6:00pm - 6:30pm and visited three times on Monday, 16 August, 7.00am - 7.15am, 8:10am - 8:20am and 12.30pm - 12.45pm.
  • Countdown Botany Downs - visited on Tuesday, 17 August 10.20am - 10.30am
  • Countdown Glenfield Mall - visited on Saturday, 14 August at 5pm - 5.15pm and Sunday, 15 August 2021
  • Countdown Greenlane - visited on Tuesday, 17 August 8:27pm - 8:50 pm and Saturday 21 August at 12:30pm - 1:15pm
  • Countdown Grey Lynn - visited on Tuesday, 17 August 6.52 pm - 7.15 and Wednesday 18 August, 4.45 pm - 5.30 pm
  • Countdown Johnsonville - visited on Wednesday, 18 August 4.30pm - 5.00pm
  • Countdown Lincoln Road - visited on Wednesday, 11 August 2.56pm - 3.30pm
  • Countdown Lynfield - visited on Wednesday, 4 August 2.45pm - 3.05pm and Sunday, 15 August at 8pm - 8.15pm
  • Countdown Mangere East - visited on Friday, 20 August, 10.50 am - 10.55am and Saturday 21 August 12:00pm - 12:10pm
  • Countdown Mangere Mall - visited twice on Tuesday, 17 August, 12:30 pm - 1:00pm and 5:15 pm - 5:19pm and Friday, 20 August, 8:00pm - 8:45pm
  • Countdown Manukau - visited on Thursday, 19 August 4.53 pm - 5.30pm
  • Countdown Manurewa - visited on Monday, 16 August 12:00pm - 12:30pm
  • Countdown Newtown - visited on Friday, 20 August 8.05am - 9.45am
  • Countdown Northwest Massey - visited on Wednesday 18 August 3:30pm - 4:30pm and Saturday, 23 August 3:30pm - 5:00pm
  • Countdown Pakuranga - visited on Friday, 20 August 12.36pm-1.15pm
  • Countdown Papatoetoe - visited on Thursday, 26 August 12pm-1pm
  • Countdown Takapuna - visited on Sunday, 15 August 3.20pm - 3.30pm
  • Countdown Takanini - visited Thursday, 19 August 7am - 7:10am and Monday, 16 August 10:00am - 10:10am
  • Countdown Victoria Street West - visited on Sunday, 15 August 2.30pm - 3.15pm and Tuesday, 17 August 3.47pm - 5.05pm
  • Countdown Westgate Massey - visited Monday, 16 August 5pm - 6pm; Thursday 19 August, 6am-2.30pm and Saturday 21 August 6am -11.30am

As a precaution, deep cleans have been undertaken in each of these stores in addition to the thorough cleaning that is undertaken during each day, which has been further increased following the alert level change. Any team members who were working during the time of the visits have been asked to self-isolate and be tested.

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