In light of the unprecedented and continued level of demand being seen in stores, Countdown has today placed a temporary limit on all products, excluding produce and serviced deli, and reduced store trading hours nationwide.

From today, there is a limit of two similar items per customer visit across all Countdown stores and online shopping services, with the exception of produce and serviced deli.  Baby food (pouches, tins and jars) will have a limit of six. This means, for example, customers will only be able to buy a maximum of two packs of toilet paper, two packs of mince, two packets of chicken, two loaves of bread, two cans of baked beans etc.

All Countdown stores will close tonight at 9pm and from tomorrow (Saturday, 21 March), all stores and online shopping services will trade from 9am to 8pm across the country.

Countdown Managing Director, Natalie Davis, said the message to New Zealand remains the same - we are not running out of food.

“We have plenty of food in our supply chain, however, we simply cannot get it through the network fast enough if Kiwis don’t slow down their shopping.  This is the only way we can try to manage demand,” said Davis.

“While this may be frustrating or inconvenient for some customers, we need to provide our team with the time and ability they need to get as much product on shelf as possible during this time of extraordinary demand.  If the store is too busy, we will be managing the number of people who can be in our stores at any one time for the safety and wellbeing of our team and other customers.

“We ask all New Zealanders to please respect these limits and only buy what they need to help as many Kiwis as possible access food and other groceries.

“We have every truck on the road possible, and every team member possible working to support our stores and online services, and we’re hiring more.  Every truck that has to go out full of toilet paper means that regular supermarket supplies can’t get through. We’re also working on ways to ensure that customers who need a bit more assistance can get the help they need in our stores and online.

“We would ask all our customers to continue to be kind, consider others and consider what you’ve got in your pantry already.

“Our teams continue to work tirelessly under difficult circumstances, so we ask that they are treated kindly and respectfully.  We thank our customers for their continued patience and support as together we work through these challenging times together,” said Davis.