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HomeNEWSInnovative ways Kiwi retailers are responding to Covid-19

Innovative ways Kiwi retailers are responding to Covid-19

Everyone who in the grocery sector knows their teams are heroes, but with the coming of Covid-19, the rest of the world has caught on. New Zealand’s major supermarket brands across both Foodstuffs and Countdown teamed up today to reassure consumers that New Zealand’s food supply is secure and they should #shopnormal.

Pak’nSave, New World, Four Square, Raeward Fresh, Countdown, Fresh Choice and Super Value all joined the call for shoppers to cease stockpiling and panic-shopping. Countdown today introduced a temporary two-item limit on most categories besides produce, baby food and serviced deli. Stores have also reduced trading hours.

We have plenty of food in our supply chain, however we simply cannot get it through the network fast enough if Kiwis don’t slow down their shopping.  This is the only way we can try to manage demand,” says Countdown managing director Natalie Davis.  

Outside the grocery sector, other retailers are making big changes to accommodate the disruption too. Office supply firm National Express Products (previous Staples and Corporate Express) have created a line of ‘work from home’ packs for remote workers. It’s also opening its B2B portal to the public for the first time in 30 years with next-day delivery to home addresses.

Chief executive Joe Taylor says the company has been helping the government prepare for a pandemic and has been purchasing and holding pandemic and self-isolation kits in stock for several years.

Taylor says National Express Products’ expertise in the commercial cleaning industry will provide a high degree of continuity against supply shortages.

He says the company currently ships over 1 million cartons annually to businesses and government agencies with cleaning product sales increasing by 100 percent in March alone. 

“Demand for hygiene products is at unprecedented levels in New Zealand which has caused unnecessary stress to people,” Taylor says.

“NXP has created a new dedicated task force of 30 staff in Auckland dedicated to securing stocks of hygiene-related products which are in high demand to ensure the continuity of businesses and government in the wake of Covid-19.

“We also want to make these supplies available to businesses and the public in a way that means they don’t need to leave home to access them.”

The Warehouse Group’s TheMarket online marketplace launched less than six months ago, but chief executive Justus Wilde shared a message on LinkedIn indicating it’s also doing its bit.

“In an effort to help the NZ community my team at TheMarket.com are preparing 5,000 essentials boxes including non-perishable food and household items. We are sourcing the products from a number of suppliers and partners. The team will volunteer their time on weekends to assemble the packs. They will be sold at cost via TheMarket.com to make basic items available for people in need and isolation. We are still putting this together, if you have any appropriate stock and can support us by suppling product at cost for this initiative please get in touch.”

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