After nearly a year of construction, the first customers were welcomed into Countdown’s brand new Gisborne store this morning, officially opened by Mayor Rehette Stoltz and Countdown’s longest serving Gisborne team member, Dianne Harkess.
The 3,876m2 supermarket is 35% bigger than the previous store, and has an extensive fresh offering along with an in-store pharmacy, bakery, deli and cellar. The new store showcases Countdown’s latest design and sustainability features including LED lighting and transcritical refrigeration to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Online shopping demand has grown massively around New Zealand over the last 18 months, and Gisborne is no exception. The new store has a dedicated online pickup area to make things even easier for customers, and has expanded delivery into Mahia, Wairoa, Te Karaka and Tolaga Bay.
Matt Grainger, Countdown’s General Manager Property, said Countdown is thrilled to welcome customers into the fresh, modern space.
“We’ve been a part of Tairāwhiti Gisborne since 1983, and we’re really proud to be investing in our future here and opening up this next chapter of our story. While our team did an amazing job in the previous store for many years, it needed a massive revamp and we’re excited to provide an even better, much more modern shopping experience for our local customers.
“This new store is not only bigger than the previous store, it gives our Gisborne shoppers more choice, has a really strong focus on energy efficiency and reducing our emissions, and a much better fresh offer which is so important when you’re surrounded by the kind of fresh produce we have here in Gisborne,” said Grainger.
“We’d like to thank the council for their support of our new store, and also thank our customers for their kindness and patience through what has been a fairly complicated and disruptive construction process.”
The store was opened this morning by Mayor Rehette Stoltz with mana whenua and local growers LeaderBrand Produce, Williams Brothers and Kaiaponi Farms also in attendance along with Countdown Gisborne’s food rescue partners, The Salvation Army and Gizzy Kai Rescue. At the opening today, Countdown donated $5000 to Gizzy Kai Rescue to mark the opening of the store, as well as a $500 trolley of groceries each to both Gizzy Kai Rescue and The Salvation Army to support their work helping some of Gisborne’s most vulnerable people and families.
Mayor Stoltz said the new supermarket is a fantastic addition to Gisborne.
“We’ve appreciated working collaboratively with Countdown throughout the construction process and it’s so great to now have the community welcomed into the space and able to enjoy shopping in the new store.”
Ngai Tāwhiri artist Henare Brooking was also at the store opening to unveil his artwork which features in the store entrance. His work is an artistic expression of Manaakitanga and Te Mānga Kaiota, an ancestor of Ngai Tāwhiri who was known for his ability to produce an abundance of foods for the Hapu.
Countdown Gisborne will be open 7am-10pm, seven days a week. The pharmacy will also operate seven days a week from 9am-8pm.