Woolworths completes rebranding of NZ namesake

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 16th November 2011

Progressive Enterprises, a subsidiary of the Australian retail group Woolworths Limited, has bid farewell to the Woolworths brand in New Zealand, marking the final stage of transition to the new ‘Countdown’ brand.

Woolworths Meadowlands was the last store in New Zealand to carry the Woolworths brand. The store reopened this week as a Countdown supermarket.

In 2009 Progressive Enterprises announced plans to transition all its supermarkets to the Countdown brand. Over 60% of its 159 stores nationwide have undergone a full refurbishment to incorporate the Countdown design features.

The company plans to invest up to NZ$1 billion over the next five years, opening 3-5 new Countdown stores and refurbishing 18-20 stores each year.

Progressive Enterprises Managing Director Dave Chambers said, “This financial year we will create 660 jobs with the opening of five Countdown stores. These team members will help create the next chapter of Countdown in New Zealand.”

In 1929, the first Woolworths store opened in Wellington, operating as a general merchandise store. Woolworths’ first foray into food retailing came in 1956 with the opening of its first “Food Fair” store at Panmure, in Victoria, Australia.