A central Auckland supermarket is closing its physical store to focus solely on fulfilling online orders as it prepares for the coronavirus lockdown.
Countdown Grey Lynn, situated on the corner of Williamson Ave and Coleridge Ave, is shutting to the public from 6pm on Wednesday.
The decision comes as demand for supermarket goods skyrockets amid the COVID-19 outbreak in New Zealand - particularly as the country prepares to escalate its pandemic response to alert level 4 overnight.
The owners of Countdown Grey Lynn sent an email to regular customers explaining that the call had been made to assist staff who were packing internet orders.
"This change means the whole supermarket and our team can be focused on fulfilling online delivery orders to a larger group of people," it read.
"During this time, this store will be closed and customers will not be able to shop in-store. We know this will be frustrating and inconvenient for some of our customers.
"We are responding to a fast-moving and unprecedented situation and it's a step we have to take to ensure we can get food and groceries to the people who need them."
Countdown Grey Lynn customers who'd prefer to visit a physical store have been urged to visit Countdown Ponsonby, at the other end of Williamson Ave, and the Countdown on Richmond Rd.
The change comes as Countdown introduces new protocol to protect staff and customers during the coronavirus pandemic. These include customer limits, self-packing groceries and the closure of every second checkout to enable physical distancing.
All of Countdown's supermarkets have adopted reduced opening hours of 9am to 8pm during the COVID-19 crisis.