Countdown stores across the country will be changing its opening hours from tomorrow Wednesday, 15 April to open from 8am to 8pm.  The change aims to allow customers more time to shop and help ease queues.

Countdown’s priority shopping hour for emergency services and medical personnel will now move to 7am, so that they can continue to get their food and groceries before the store opens to the general public. This priority shopping hour is available to NZ Police, Fire Service, ambulance paramedics, DHBs, hospital and medical personnel with proper ID.

Countdown’s General Manager Health and Safety, Kiri Hannifin said the trading hour changes will give customers a little more time to shop and hopefully lessen the need for queuing outside stores.

“We’ve extended the opening hours of our stores to give our customers more time to do their shopping, especially as the weather starts to cool and the evenings are darker," said Hannifin.

“We have a number of measures in place to make sure our stores are safe to shop in during the lockdown, and to help ensure our customers can maintain physical distancing in our stores.  This has in some instances led to queues but we’re hoping extended trading hours will help ease this a little. We also hope the earlier start time of our priority shopping hour will work better for those emergency workers and medical personnel working shifts.

“Our customers have been doing a great job of playing their part to help us stop the spread of COVID-19.  We’d ask that they continue to use the hand sanitiser we have available, keep at least a trolley length between themselves and other customers, and make sure there’s just one person per family doing the shopping as much as possible."