Real Life

Countdown launches new priority delivery service for vulnerable customers

"We are prioritising those customers whom the government has identified as most vulnerable at this time," says Countdown General Manager Health & Safety, Kiri Hannifin.

Countdown has launched a new service to prioritise the delivery of groceries to vulnerable customers.
To be eligible for the service you must be:
• Over 70 years of age
• Live with a chronic illness such as a respiratory condition, heart condition, high blood pressure, kidney problems and diabetes. This also includes people undergoing treatment for cancer and blood conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid-19.
• Countdown has also extended Priority Assistance to customers who have disabilities that make it difficult to shop in stores.
To apply for priority delivery you can fill out on online form which can be found here.
Applications cannot be made over the phone.
Once registered, customers will have access to dedicated Priority Assistance delivery times.
Countdown's General Manager Health & Safety, Kiri Hannifin, says, "This is an incredibly challenging time for all of us as Kiwis, but for some people, there is significantly more risk.
"We know we can't reach every single New Zealander, and we also know there are other customers who may not be able to leave their homes to shop. We will try as much as we can to consider these customers on a case by case basis."
Hannifin said there is still likely to be delays in deliveries because demand is so high at the moment, "but our teams are doing everything we can to increase our delivery windows and help give those customers who need it most some peace of mind and support".
You can find more information on the Countdown website here.

More supermarkets converted to online-only hubs

To help open up more delivery windows, the company has converted its Grey Lynn Central supermarket in Auckland to an online-only hub, and is closing its Albert Street Metro store in Auckland's CBD later today to redeploy team members to online shopping services.
Five more supermarkets (where alternative stores are located nearby for customers) will also be converted.
Says Hannifin, "We ask our regular customers for their patience as we do this, and if you are able to, please shop in our stores so we can help prioritise those Kiwis who need this online service the most."

Physical distancing in stores

To support the health and wellbeing of the Countdown team and customers Countdown has introduced these physical distancing measures:
• Limiting the number of customers in a store at any one time.
• Closing some checkouts including in self-service to provide additional space between customers in those areas.
• Encouraging customers to maintain at least a trolley length of physical distance between each other at all times, with clear markings at checkout.
• Markings in-store to support physical distancing and signage reminding customers and team to wash their hands.
• Additional and regular cleaning and hygiene processes, including hand sanitiser at the entrance of all stores for customers, and hand sanitiser available for team and delivery drivers.
• Plexiglass screens at registers to help keep team and customers safe.
If you're unwell, stay at home.
"Keep in mind the government's recommendations to wash your hands beforehand and afterwards, and to keep your physical distance from others," says Hannifin.
"If it's possible, it's best to leave your kids at home."