Countdown has announced Steve Mills as the new general manager of merchandise.
Mills is replacing the previous GM, Scott Davidson, who left the role at the end of 2019 to lead another Woolworths Group business, BWS, in Australia.
Mills has been working with Countdown for 27 years and has a wide skill set that can offer experience in both store operations and buying.
Countdown’s managing director, Natalie Davis, says: “Steve is not only a talented buyer, but he is also deeply passionate about our team, our customers, our stores and our supplier partners.”
Davis says Mills’ leadership style earned him respect in the business and with its suppliers as well.
Growing up in Palmerston North, Mills started out as a Countdown employee in Porirua managing the butchery department but quickly advanced to area manager. The role is now known as group manager.
He joined the buying team in Christchurch, where he was head of grocery and liquor, which led him to his newly announced role.
Mills says he is thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead the countdown buying team and to continue to build key relationships.
“Serving customers and working with my people has been in my blood for 27 years and I’m proud to say that throughout that time I’ve worked right across our business.
“For me, this new role is an opportunity to combine my history and experience with what really matters to Kiwi consumers today, which is not only product and price, but increasingly a focus on health, sustainability and a much greater awareness and understanding of the whole supply chain,” says Mills.