Dave Chambers, managing director, Countdown

Woolworths Group may be going through challenging times in Australia, but its NZ’s supermarket business (including Countdown and the Progressive Enterprises franchises businesses, FreshChoice and SuperValue) is alive and well.

According to Woolworths’ earning results for FY16, sales were $6.1 billion, up 3.8 percent from last year; comparable sales rose 1.3 percent. As for Countdown, its Price Down programme has grown to encompass about 3,000 products and, over the course of the fiscal year, the company’s food price index showed a deflation of 0.3 percent.

Each year over the next three years, three to four new stores will open their doors, joining the eight brand-new supermarkets and two replacement stores introduced last year. Countdown has also reiterated that it will invest in 600 new customer-facing jobs and extended hours for 200 of its staff.

The future looks bright, and Progressive’s managing director Dave Chambers said the company is heading into FY17 with good momentum. “We will continue our focus on giving our customers what they tell us they want. We will continue to extend our Price Down programme with a focus on driving down prices, further improve the freshness of our fruit and vegetables, forge further online growth (including through new delivery windows), as well as introduce an exciting new partnership with AA Smartfuel.”