Progressive Enterprises announces single brand to be used on all supermarkets Westgate store the first to get new Countdown branding Plans for 'billion-dollar' investment in New Zealand retail industry
The Foodtown and Woolworths brands are to be gradually phased out by supermarket operator Progressive Enterprises and replaced by a revitalized, new generation Countdown brand.
The rebranding, which will take up to five years, will see the company's stores receive a new modern identity. It was unveiled today at the Countdown Westgate store, which is nearing completion of a full refurbishment.
"The move to one modern brand comes after the success we've had with our new generation Countdown stores," says Progressive Enterprises Managing Director Peter Smith.
"Over the past three years, we've been making significant improvements to our stores to help our customers shop smarter. Our new stores have a diverse fresh food offer, bigger grocery range, wider aisles and provide a brighter and more pleasant shopping experience. It's about time the outside of our stores reflected the great changes going on inside," he said.
The new logo - which also replaces the current Countdown identity - symbolises a new beginning for the New Zealand supermarket business.
"The new generation Countdown logo represents fresh produce and our absolute commitment to fresh food. It also represents a new beginning and direction of our business," Mr Smith said.
He said the Countdown brand was chosen, rather than Foodtown or Woolworths, due to its popularity with customers and the geographically wide spread across the whole of New Zealand.
"We looked very carefully at which of our three brand names to go forward with, and we are absolutely certain that Countdown is what smart shoppers want. The fact is smart shoppers right across New Zealand know Countdown stands for fresh, quality products at a great value price," Mr Smith added.
The new Countdown branding will be applied as stores are refurbished and new stores are built.
The new brand also links the company to Australian parent company Woolworths Limited where stores have also been gradually receiving the fresh new symbol.
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Woolworths Limited, through Progressive Enterprises, plans to invest up to $1 billion in New Zealand over the next five years.
"We are incredibly confident in the New Zealand retail market and our Countdown brand. The new brand is perfect for the times, and this is the right time to invest in our business," Mr Smith said.
"We plan to open up to five new generation Countdown supermarkets and transform around 20 Woolworths, Foodtown and older Countdown stores to the new brand and format each year for the next five years.
"We also plan to invest in our supply chain across New Zealand to ensure that we can deliver world-class quality and value to our shoppers," said Mr Smith,
Through this investment, Countdown will create 2,000-3,000 permanent new jobs in New Zealand. The company currently employs over 18,000 people.
The first store to feature the new Countdown logo is Westgate in West Auckland (previously an older style Countdown store). Immediately to follow are stores in Pukekohe in South Auckland (previously a Foodtown), Milford on Auckland's North Shore and Northwood in Christchurch (both previously Woolworths), and Ashburton (an old style Countdown).
With these changes, Progressive Enterprises will operate 150 supermarkets - 70 branded Countdown, 52 Woolworths and 28 Foodtown.
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