Countdown is on for new store
The shelves are filling up fast at Ashburton’s newest supermarket, ahead of its June 1 opening.
Finishing touches are all that’s left for Ashburton’s new Countdown, on the corner of State Highway 1 and South Street, and the staff of 60 has been frantically filling the long life food shelves for the past fortnight, something they’ll be doing right up to the last minute as the fresh food comes in.
The store’s manager Kyle Webber can’t keep the smile off his face as he shows the Outlook through the new supermarket. One of his favourite features is the destination gluten free and organic section, and he proudly shows off the international food section – with sections specifically dedicated to different country’s food like the United Kingdom, South Africa, India and Mexico – which takes up a fair chunk of one aisle.
The new supermarket’s lay out largely mirrors the town’s existing Countdown – which the supermarket’s owners Progressive Enterprises say will stay after the new one opens – but everything’s on a much larger scale.
Webber said the new store’s bottled water aisle is three times the size of that of the current Countdown, while the nappy selection is also much bigger, because nappies are big sellers in Ashburton.
‘‘Most of our range is based on what sells in Ashburton,’’ Webber said.
The new Countdown does have one thing no other supermarket in Ashburton has – an in store pharmacy, with a consultation room. It will give a broad range of pharmacy services to customers, with Countdown’s $3 prescription charge.
The store also features an open bakery, so people can see cakes and baked goods being created, and a large bulk food section.
Online shoppers will also be better catered to, with lockers to hold groceries beside the checkout counters. At the current Countdown, click and collect groceries are kept out the back of the store.
The doors to the new Countdown will open for the first time on June 1 at 8.30am, and the first 200 customers through the door will receive a $20 voucher.
As well as building the new supermarket, Progressive Enterprises also footed the bill – estimated to be around $1 million – for traffic light installation at the intersection, which is set to get a whole lot busier once the new store opens.
Getting ready for the big opening are Jake Seath, Kyle Webber, Mandy Manpreet and Amie Duggan.