Countdown announces rent relief for tenants

Rent relief being offered to tenants like cafes, travel agencies, hairdressers, takeaway outlets, real estate agencies and restaurants who have shops within Countdown’s supermarkets or shopping centres. Photo Inside Retail NZ

Countdown has today announced a package to support small businesses across the country, with rent relief being offered to tenants like cafes, travel agencies, hairdressers, takeaway outlets, real estate agencies and restaurants who have shops within Countdown’s supermarkets or shopping centres.

Small suppliers selling food and other essentials to Countdown will also be paid faster in recognition of the financial impact many small businesses are facing.  All eligible small trade and non trade suppliers will be paid on 14 day terms for the foreseeable future.

Managing director Natalie Davis said in a media release that small businesses play an important role in New Zealand’s economy and communities, particularly in smaller towns.

“We know that small businesses right across the country are doing it tough at the moment and we want to do our bit to help them out.

“By paying our small suppliers fast for the products they’re supplying us, and providing rent relief for 54 non-essential businesses within our stores and shopping centres, we hope this can help ease some of the pressure they will be facing in these uncertain times,” around New Zealand,” said Davis.

“We know the outlook will continue to be extremely tough for many of our retail partners and small businesses in the coming months, and we are committed to helping ensure they can bounce back from this.”

Countdown’s rent relief package will apply to the four week Level 4 alert lock-down and will be reviewed if this is extended.

Countdown stores to open one hour earlier for emergency services and medical personnel; changes to limits in store help customers shop less often

31 March 2020: From Thursday this week, Countdown stores around the country will open at 8am to provide a priority shopping hour each day for uniformed emergency services and medical personnel.  Stores will then open for the general public from 9am to 8pm.

Countdown has also extended the limits on a range of food items to enable customers to come to the supermarket less frequently, including no limits on fruit and vegetables, meat, deli, seafood and Countdown’s Easter range.

Emergency services and medical shopping hour

Any emergency service worker wearing their uniform, or any DHB, medical centre or medical professional carrying proper identification will be able to get their food and groceries before the store is open to the general public.

“Our emergency and medical services are continuing to go above and beyond for New Zealanders as they work to keep our communities safe.  We want to show our deep appreciation to them during this very challenging time by helping ensure they can get groceries for themselves and their families,” says Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s general manager health & safety.

“We hope that we can take a little bit of pressure off their week and make sure that when they get home after working long hours they will have the essential supplies they need.”

This offer applies to members of the New Zealand Police, Fire Service, ambulance paramedics, medical professionals including DHB personnel, doctors and nurses.

Countdown has also introduced a Priority Assistance service for online deliveries to people deemed by the government to be most at risk of Covid-19.

“The advice we continue to receive from the Ministry of Health is that people who are 70 years old or older, who are immune-compromised or have chronic illnesses should stay at home.  We want to help make that possible by giving those people priority access to our online delivery,” says Hannifin.

“We’ve already approved more than 16,000 people for Priority Assistance since it launched last Wednesday but we are experiencing incredible demand for our online shopping service with close to 100,000 customers registering last week.

“We’d encourage everyone who is physically able to shop in our stores to do so, so we can keep as many delivery slots as possible for those who need them most and cannot go to a supermarket.”

Changes to product limits in Countdown stores

With customers now adjusting to the Level 4 alert lockdown, Countdown is extending its limits on a range of products to ensure customers don’t have to visit stores too regularly.

  • No limits on meat, produce, deli, seafood and Easter products.

  • A limit of four on beer, wine and any bakery goods not made in our stores

  • A limit of two will still apply to products where we are seeing increased demand so that we can make sure there is some for everyone. Those items are:

    • Flour

    • Rice – Bags

    • Dry Pasta

    • Canned baked beans & spaghetti

    • UHT Milk

    • Frozen Vegetables

    • Toilet Paper

    • Paper Towel

    • Personal Wash

    • Hand Sanitiser

    • Paracetamol

    • Household Cleaner

    • Feminine Hygiene

    • Baby Formula

  • All other items will have a limit of six.

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