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New Countdown store to create 30 new jobs

Supermarket chain Countdown has detailed plans for a new, bigger, updated Gisborne store, due to open from mid-2021.

The new, 3876sqm store will replace the existing 2800sqm Countdown Gisborne and have an in-store pharmacy, a dedicated online pick-up area and will provide a “vibrant and updated Countdown supermarket for the local community”, a company statement said.

The new store will be built on the same site as the existing store, which will continue to operate while the new one is being constructed.

Countdown store operations general manager Brett Ashley said the company looked forward to giving locals a new store to enjoy.

“While the existing store does a great job of servicing the local community, we're keen to provide an even better shopping experience for local customers.

“We're really excited about the plans for our new store, which will be a significant investment in Gisborne and will also create around 30 additional jobs for the local community, which is something I am particularly proud about.”

The site was blessed by Ngai Tawhiri in a ceremony yesterday, with members of the local community, including Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz, in attendance.

“This will be a wonderful addition to the shopping choice in Gisborne, and will create many jobs in construction, and new jobs once the store is open,” said Mrs Stoltz. “It's exciting that the company has given Gisborne a great tick of approval in what has been a shaky start to the year.

“We are looking forward to working collaboratively with Countdown and helping ensure the construction proceeds smoothly.”

Work on the site is scheduled to begin later this month.

Last year the local Countdown expanded its online shopping service into surrounding towns such as Mahia, Wairoa, Te Karaka and Tolaga Bay.

COUNTDOWN IS ON: Ngai Tawhiri kaumatua Stan Pardoe turns the first sod at the site of Gisborne's new Countdown supermarket, with store manager Jess Stubbs, Countdown development manager Marie Fonua, Mayor Rehette Stoltz, and Diane Harkess, the supermarket's long serving staff member who has worked there since it opened 37 years ago. Picture by Paul Rickard