TOO UNSAFE TO OPERATE

Safety issues are forcing a Countdown store in Waihi to close its doors for good on May 28, given that the foundations and floor have moved, and the site would need to undergo extensive repair or redevelopment.

For the time being, the chain has no plan to open another supermarket in the area, but said it will try its best to re-employ all 41 staff in other nearby stores or within the whole network. A quarter of the employees worked full-time, the rest part-time.

“This is not a decision we have made lightly and we know it will be upsetting to our team in Waihi, and of course to our customers. Sadly, it just isn’t sustainable for us to stay there,” said Ryan McMullen, national trading manager, Countdown. “Despite our best efforts, we haven’t been able to find an alternative option for a Countdown supermarket in Waihi.”