News and media releases

Attribute to Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability

"We had a recent incident at our Church Corner store in Christchurch when a customer, who had previously been trespassed for abusive behaviour, was refused entry. This customer spat on the security guard and refused to leave the store.

The police attended and apprehended the customer. The security guard is being tested for COVID-19 and being supported during this process. It is always incredibly disappointing when our team are subject to abusive behaviour, but it is particularly distressing when this involves spitting at a time when the country is experiencing a community outbreak of COVID-19.

Generally New Zealanders are doing a great job at following the rules, which is fantastic. We have definitely seen some customers refusing masks and being difficult and sometimes abusive to our team in the last few days, and we’d continue to ask people to respect our team, treat them with kindness, and wear a mask or face covering.”

 

Countdown has announced nationwide store trading hour changes, some temporary Auckland store closures, and a 10% bonus for its frontline team as the country looks to enter its fourth day at Alert Level four tomorrow.

To be attributed to Kiri Hannifin, Countdown's General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability: As of today, six of our stores have been visited by someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. These stores are: Countdown Lincoln Road - visited on Wednesday, 11 August at 2.56pm - 3.30pm Countdown Glenfield - visited on Saturday, 14 August at 5pm - 5.15pm and S ...

We want to clarify inaccurate news reports this morning on mask wearing and enforcement in our stores.

We have masks as a condition of entry in all of our stores, and we have been vocal advocates for the mandatory use of masks in supermarkets as an extra layer of safety for our team and customers.

In our stores today customers will see signage reminding them that masks are a condition of entry and we will also have masks available for customers to help encourage this.

If customers become aggressive and refuse to wear a mask, the advice from the NZ Police is that our supermarket team members should not enforce this as it is simply too dangerous. We strongly hope that all New Zealanders will do the right thing and wear masks so that our team aren’t put in this position.

Attribute to Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability.

We’re really proud of the way our team has dealt with the increased demand we’ve seen in stores over the last 24 hours. Already this morning, our produce buyers have purchased an extra 2000 crates of fresh fruit and veges to not only boost our fresh produce supply, but also help out growers who would have normally been selling to hospitality businesses and ensure food doesn’t go to waste.

There will be a few gaps on shelves, but our store and supply chain teams are working to quickly reorder and restock what is needed and we’ve had huge support from our transport carriers and suppliers to help get food around the country quickly for our customers. Our limit of six on some products in our Auckland and Coromandel stores will remain in place and includes: toilet paper, flour, bags of rice, dry pasta, UHT milk, frozen vegetables, baby formula, pet food. We’ll monitor stock levels around the country and will make changes to limits if we need to.

For those who are the nominated shopper for their bubble, we’d remind them to keep scanning in, wear a mask, maintain physical distancing and only buy what you need. Our stores are well aware of what we need to do to keep everyone safe, and we’re here to help again.

Attribute to Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability.

We’re really proud of the way our team has dealt with the increased demand we’ve seen in our stores across the country this evening. We’d remind everyone that there is plenty of food and groceries to go around when people buy what they need, and thanks to all our shoppers who have heeded our call to keep it kind.

Across New Zealand we’re working quickly to put in all the measures we need to operate at level 4 from midnight. This includes physical distancing, limiting the number of customers in stores, extra cleaning on top of what we normally do, having plenty of hand sanitiser available, and making sure the COVID-19 Tracer App QR codes are clearly visible. We also have limits of six on some products in Auckland: toilet paper, flour, bags of rice, dry pasta, UHT milk, frozen vegetables, baby formula, pet food.

All our stores will open as usual tomorrow, but will close at 9pm. For our online shoppers, demand is heavy but our Priority Assistance service is back up and running for vulnerable New Zealanders and all deliveries nationwide will be contactless. As always, please scan in, wear a mask and only buy what you need. Our stores are well aware of what we need to do, and we’re here to help again.

To be attributed to Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability.

We’re in the process of preparing our stores for a change in alert level protocols, and ask customers to keep calm and kind while we do this. We know this is unnerving news for everyone, but we are well-practiced at shopping safely during alert level changes and we can do it again.

We’d ask customers to wear a mask when you’re shopping in our stores as an extra precaution, and use the contact tracing app as you come in.

At the moment all of our stores are open and we will have physical distancing measures in place, as well as extra cleaning and hygiene practices on top of what we do normally.

Countdown has announced its first Green Star rated supermarket in Auckland will open in time for Christmas within the new Waiata Shores development in Manukau.

“Across our business we work extremely hard with our suppliers and our team of 20,000 Kiwis to serve customers in our supermarkets and online shopping, and we recognise the role we play to help provide food and other groceries across Aotearoa.

“We hadn’t seen the draft report ourselves ahead of its release today, so we will now take the time to read it so we can provide our feedback within the required timeframe. We note this is only a draft report but on face value some of the options would have significant implications and we’ll need time to work this through and understand the impact.

“We’re proud to partner with 1400 suppliers, including 120 produce growers and 900 small suppliers, and having good relationships is incredibly important to us.

“We appreciate that many Kiwis will have strong thoughts and feelings about the report and would ask that they keep it kind when shopping in our stores and treat our teams with respect.

 

Countdown has announced a brand new Metro store for Wānaka with a focus on making online shopping even easier in this growing community. Doors to the 140sqm store are expected to open before Christmas 2021, with preliminary works already underway on the Ardmore Street site.