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Retailers shrink ranges to offer essentials through lockdown

A number of New Zealand businesses have begun offering pared-back ranges for home delivery online in an effort to trade through the Government’s Stage-4 lockdown measures.

On Monday, the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment specified that the sale of essential goods could now include key household appliances, keep people warm, and maintain people’s health.

“Examples of essential products are blankets, fridges, heaters and computers or tablets to work from home or do distance learning, or simply connect with people,” the Ministry wrote.

“If people can’t buy these, then we risk people venturing out of their homes more often.”

Under these guidelines, several retailers have re-opened segments of their online store for public use.

Mitre 10

Hardware chain Mitre 10 will begin selling a range of essential products through its online channels beginning later this week.

A core offering of heating, firewood, safety gear, plumbing and hardware products will be available for delivery through the Mitre 10 website.

While the business will retain regular pricing, it will enforce quantity limits where relevant, and ensures delivery will be contactless – in line with government requirements.

“We are pleased to be able to support our local communities by helping them access essential goods during the lock down period,” Mitre 10 chief of marketing and inspiration Jules Lloyd-Jones said in a statement.

“This will be increasingly important to help people prepare their homes and families for the cooler weather.”

While the business has 84 locations across New Zealand, it isn’t clear how many of these locations offer online home delivery.

The Warehouse Group

Similarly, while no physical stores will be opened to customers, The Warehouse and Noel Leeming will begin providing goods such as cleaning and household goods, electronics, clothing, baby, office and stationery, pet food, and health and beauty.

The offer will be available from 16 select stores, as well as two national distribution centres, and will require the group to partially restart its supply chain operation.

Smiths City

Appliances and homewares retailer Smiths City is also operating online once again.

“If you need refrigeration, cooking, or laundry appliances, computers and tablets for working or learning, home office essentials, heating, or nursery products, we’ve got you covered,” Smiths Family’s website reads.

And while no stores will reopen, several stores and distribution centres through Auckland and Christchurch will be used to fulfill orders.

Smiths City chief executive Roy Campbell said that the business welcomed the decision to categorise such items as essential.

“These products are essential given the approach of winter and the new realities people face with home working,” Campbell said.

“Smiths City welcomes this opportunity to play a role in supporting the country’s businesses and the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.”

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