Over 14,000 Countdown employees across 183 stores and distribution centres have been given a stake in parent company Woolworths Group in recognition of thier contributions to the business during COVID-19.
Each eligible full-time team member is receiving AU$750 of shares with part-time eligible team members are being allocated shares on a pro rata basis.
Managing Director Natalie Davis said that Countdown employees around the country have gone above and beyond since the end of February, and the share award gives team members an investment in the company’s future.
“This has been a big year for our teams, and we are very proud of the way they have served New Zealand,” Davis said in a statement.
“Their passion and dedication to our customers, their care for their local communities and to each other over this very challenging time has been incredible, and we are immensely grateful.”
Davis noted some of Countdown’s achievements over the last year, including the steps it has taken to reduce emissions, phase out single-use plastic and provide safe environments and affordable to customers, and said none of it would have been possible without team members.
“Our frontline team members are the face, heart and centre of our business. As we look forward and work as a team together to help build a better tomorrow for our country, we want to recognise our team’s role in that, and give them ownership of the huge part they play in creating it,” she said.
More than 100,000 employees across Woolworths Group, which also includes the Woolworths, Big W, Dan Murphy’s, BWS, CellarMasters and Langton’s businesses in Australia, have received shares, giving it the largest number of shareholder team members in the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Countdown is one of the largest employers in the country, with 20,373 team members across its supermarkets, distribution centres, processing plants and support offices.
Team members who aren’t eligible for the share award include any team members who already receive incentives as part of their employment with Countdown, those employed after the 1 March and non-permanent team.