Countdown has temporarily changed its opening hours nationwide and introduced limits on products that are in high demand, to help ease pressure on its store teams as the country responds to changes in Covid-19 Alert Levels.
It comes as Kiwis started panic buying after the Government announced community transmission, putting Auckland in alert level 3 and the rest of the country in alert level 2 until midnight Friday, August 12.
Earlier, Countdown's corporate affairs manager Kiri Hannifin told Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford flour shelves at her local supermarket are already bare.
"We have heaps in our supply chain, we've got a lot of stock, but what we don't want to is is someone take a whole trolley of pasta at our shops, so when you finish your shift tonight, you go in and you can't get it."
Countdown stores throughout New Zealand will close at 9pm tonight and re-open at 8am tomorrow, with these new hours (8am - 9pm) in place until further notice.
The company's Priority Assistance online shopping service for vulnerable customers has also been reinstated today.
Product limits include:
• Dry Pasta
• Canned Baked Beans and Spaghetti
• UHT Milk
• Frozen Vegetables
• Toilet Paper
• Paper Towel
• Personal Wash
• Hand Sanitiser
• Household Cleaner
• Period Products
• Baby Formula
A limit of six has been put on wine and beer and a limit of one pack per customer has been put on all mask products.
Countdown's General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, says Countdown is in a very good position to navigate the alert level changes and customers should feel safe in its stores.
"Our previous lockdown experience has stood us in good stead. We know that our processes are robust, our supply chain is strong, we can keep Kiwis safe, and we have plenty of food for everyone. We hope this provides Kiwis with reassurance that together, we can deal with different lockdown scenarios again.
"We'd urge customers to consider others when they are shopping in our stores. Whether that's physically distancing themselves from other shoppers, making sure they're only buying what they need, and of course being kind to our team and fellow customers," says Kiri Hannfin.