Countdown to be rebranded as Woolworths as part of 'transformation programme'

Countdown Richmond with new Woolworths signage.
Countdown Richmond with new Woolworths signage. Photo credit: Supplied

Familiar household brand Countdown is set to disappear next year as part of a major rebrand that will see the supermarkets adopt the name of their parent company Woolworths.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, managing Director of Countdown and Woolworths Group New Zealand, Spencer Sonn, announced that Countdown Supermarkets will be rebranded as Woolworths Supermarkets New Zealand from early 2024.

Woolworths Group Limited is an Australian multinational retail and finance company, primarily known for its operation of Woolworths Supermarkets across Australia and 194 Countdown outlets across New Zealand.

The overhaul is part of an "accelerated transformation programme" which includes a refreshed loyalty programme - with the launch of Everyday Rewards also planned for early 2024 - and a $400 million investment in renewing and upgrading the store network over the next three years.

Other parts of the programme include a more than $45 million investment in added security measures and upskilling staff.

Customers will also see more convenient eCommerce shopping options, a "deeper connection to grassroots community activities", and further commitment to fresh produce with a new Christchurch Fresh Distribution Centre slated to open next year, the company said. This will complement the Auckland Fresh Distribution Centre which opened in 2022, Sonn added.

"We know we need to be a better place to shop, better to work for and all-round better for Aotearoa's tomorrow," Sonn said.

"We are proud to be part of New Zealand communities and with this transformation our customers can expect to see more value, better ways to shop in-store and online, sustained investment in our charity partnerships and for us to lead in sustainability.

"In the coming months and years, you're going to see us bringing the best of the Woolworths brand across the Tasman and equally sharing the best of what we have here with the broader Woolworths Group. We're changing for the better and a name change for our stores is just one part of that."

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci added that the rebranding of Countdown to Woolworths will "double-down on our trans-Tasman connection".

"That includes a refreshed loyalty programme focused on providing more value and a materially improved fresh offer."

Individual store signage will begin to change in the coming months.

Customers are invited to provide feedback and ask questions online here.