Saturday, June 22, 2024

Countdown unveils transformation plans

Countdown has announced its long-term commitment to delivering New Zealand’s best supermarket experiences for customers and team with an accelerated transformation program underway.

The transformation includes a refreshed loyalty program with the launch of Everyday Rewards for NZ planned for early 2024. There’s significant investment planned, too, with over $NZ400 million over the next three years allocated to a renewal of the store network, with a focus on older stores across Aotearoa.

According to the retailer, customers will also see more convenient e-commerce shopping options, a deeper connection to grassroots community activities, and further commitment to top quality fruit and vegetables with a state-of-the-art Christchurch Fresh Distribution Centre opening in 2024. This will complement the Auckland Fresh Distribution Centre which opened in 2022.

From early 2024, Countdown Supermarkets will be rebranded, as well, to Woolworths Supermarkets NZ.

Working ‘hard’ to be ‘better’

Countdown and Woolworths Group NZ Managing Director Spencer Sonn says the supermarket retailer has been working hard to become a better business and do more to meet customers’ needs and expectations, and now is the time to accelerate that change.

“Having had the privilege of leading the NZ team for over two years now, I know there’s a lot that people love about what we do, and none of that will be going away,” he says. “But our ambition is to be the best and to do this we know we need to be a better place to shop, better to work for and all-round better for Aotearoa’s tomorrow.

“We are proud to be part of NZ communities and with this transformation our customers can expect to see more value, better ways to shop in-store and online, sustained investment in our charity partnerships and for us to lead in sustainability.

“Delivering the best supermarket experiences includes our team too. We’re privileged to employ over 22,000 hard-working New Zealanders and we want to give each and every one of them a fantastic experience, whether it’s a part-time job after school, or a decades-long career with us.

“In the coming months and years, you’re going to see us bringing the best of the Woolworths brand across the Tasman and equally sharing the best of what we have here with the broader Woolworths Group. We’re changing for the better and a name change for our stores is just one part of that.”

A ‘long’ history

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci says that Woolworths has a long history in NZ, opening its first NZ store in Wellington in 1929, and now operating 194 Countdown supermarkets across the country.

“I’m excited by [the] announcement and what it means for our continued commitment to NZ and its ongoing importance to Woolworths Group,” he says.

“The next stage of our transformation and the rebranding of our stores to Woolworths Supermarkets NZ, means we’re doubling down on our trans-Tasman connection to bring the very best to our Kiwi customers. That includes a refreshed loyalty program focused on providing more value and a materially improved fresh offer.”

Rebranding

Countdown Supermarkets will rebrand to Woolworths Supermarkets NZ in early 2024.

Individual store signage changes will begin in the coming months, with this to be completed over the next couple of years.

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