Countdown will open two supermarkets dedicated to fulfilling online grocery orders this year.
The retailer announced the opening of the first store, which it calls an e-store, in November 2019, and confirmed plans to open a second store on Wednesday.
The stores will be located in Penrose, Auckland, and Moorhouse, Christchurch, respectively, and will look like normal supermarkets, with fresh produce, meat and bread inside, but they won’t have any customers and are partially automated.
The set-up will enable Countdown to fulfil online grocery orders more quickly and easily to areas where there is strong demand.
“We know that the demand for online shopping continues to grow in Christchurch, and whilst we have been opening up more online hubs and delivery windows, the demand continues,” Sally Copland, Countdown’s GM of digital, said.
“[I]f we want to continue to deliver the best service and experience for our online and in store customers, then the [e-store] is the natural progression.”
The South Island e-store is set to open in October, after the opening of the Auckland store.
The store will be built on the back of the existing supermarket and will service online delivery customers from Moorhouse, Eastgate, Colombo Street, Hornby, Ferrymead, Church Corner and The Palms, according to Countdown.
Each of these stores will continue to fulfil their customers’ click-and-collect orders, another channel that is growing rapidly.