Countdown has officially opened its Rototuna store to the public after initially opening last month as an online-only store.
The supermarket giant opened the Rototuna store a month earlier than planned to keep up with the surge of demand for online shopping and home delivery services.
Customers were not allowed to go inside the 4000sqm store.
Wynand Fourie, Countdown Rototuna’s store manager, said the team is excited to welcome customers to the supermarket.
“Over the last month we’ve fulfilled almost 5000 online orders for our Hamilton customers and we’ve been so grateful to serve the community this way at this incredibly challenging time for our community,” Fourie said. “We’re now really excited to welcome customers in store in person and to see them enjoy our exciting new store.”
Together with a dedicated e-store in Penrose, and the conversion of four other stores around New Zealand, Countdown was able to scale its online capacity by 60 per cent in March and April.
It also meant that Rototuna team members could get to work earlier than planned with 90 new jobs being created to support the operation of Countdown Rototuna.
The new store includes a number of sustainability initiatives such as LED lighting, transcritical refrigeration and new chiller doors which will help reduce their energy use by 42 per cent a year.
The store will also feature robotic innovations, including a new dispensing robot for greater speed and accuracy in the in-store pharmacy and a new team member, Kai the grocery robot.
Once operational in a few weeks, Kai will identify and notify the team of any spills and hazards and also have the ability to identify gaps in the shelves to help improve product availability.