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COVID-19 updates from New World

These are archived updates from New World during COVID-19. Go here for more information about COVID -19 and how it has affected grocery shopping and our stores. 

 

Update 12 May - Supermarket safety protocols remain at Alert Level 2

New World is in complete support of the Government’s plan to move the country to Alert Level 2 and the strong need to focus on continued physical distancing as New Zealand transitions down from Alert Level 3. New Zealand has gamely tackled COVID-19 and the consistently low number of new cases now being identified is extremely positive. We believe a cautious move back to a more widely functioning economy is a very positive step.

The requirement to continue appropriate physical distancing, in particular from strangers, means that at Alert Level 2 customers will experience largely the same safety protocols at the supermarket as they saw during Alert Levels 3 and 4. We will continue to maintain the heightened cleaning protocols, perspex protection screens and physical distancing – and numbers in-store will continue to be managed to ensure both staff and customer safety.

As New Zealand moves back to Alert Level 2, we remain extremely appreciative of the hard work our emergency services, police and medical teams have put in as the country has fought hard against COVID-19. Priority queuing was originally put in place to facilitate access while store hours were limited during Alert Levels 3 and 4 and as opening hours have now returned to normal it feels like the right time to cease this service.

We will continue to maintain the heightened cleaning protocols, perspex protection screens and physical distancing – and numbers in-store will continue to be managed to ensure both staff and customer safety.

Our stores remain 100% committed to ensuring New Zealanders grocery needs are met, and the teams are firmly focused on managing supply, meeting customers’ needs and ensuring a safe and comfortable shopping experience for all.

We will continue to monitor the number of people allowed in stores as we have during previous alert levels to maintain the appropriate physical distancing. Stores are now allowing customers to shop with their families on a store by store basis, but if you can, please continue to shop alone. If you need to shop with your partner or children, please comply with physical distancing measures and stick together when shopping in store.

We acknowledge some of the physical distancing protocols will be challenging as we head into winter, and we ask customers to bear with us as the teams do their very best to keep queues outside to a minimum while adhering to health and safety requirements.

We ask shoppers to please remain patient and considerate of each other and our staff during this time – #shopnormal #shopsafe #bekind.

COVID-19: Your Level 2 FAQs answered

How will the move to L2 change physical distancing measures in store?  

As the country moves from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2, the requirement to continue appropriate physical distancing, in particular from strangers, means that at Alert Level 2 customers will experience largely the same safety protocols at the supermarket as they saw during Alert Levels 3 and 4. 

This means maintaining the 2m physical distancing length, managing in-store customer numbers, perspex screens and increased hygiene measures will continue to keep our customers and staff safe.  

Why are there still long queues if we’ve moved down Alert Levels?

We are maintaining the 2m physical distance for customers and staff in and around the store so we can play it safe. Customers will still find floor decals, perspex screens and limited numbers in store so the 2m distance is maintained during your shop and as staff work hard to replenish shelves.  

We continue to ask customers for their patience if their store has an external queue to enter the store or a queue at checkout.  

By sticking to the ‘one shopper per household’ policy, we’re able to allow more customers in store and keep external queues moving. When you shop with multiple members from your household, you’re taking away spots for other customers to enter the store in a timely manner and lengthening the wait time for those who are waiting in the external queue.  

Why do your stores still require the 2m distance when other businesses are only allowing 1m distance?  

The requirement to continue appropriate physical distancing, in particular from strangers, means we need to keep the 2m physical distance requirement in stores since lockdown began so we can continue to play it safe. 

Are you removing the queue prioritisation of emergency workers and medical professionals from stores at L2?

As New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2, we feel it is the appropriate time to cease priority queuing for emergency workers and healthcare professionals. We remain extremely appreciative of the hard work our emergency services, Police and medical teams have put in as the country has fought hard against COVID-19, however, priority queuing was put in place to facilitate access while store hours were limited during Level 3 and 4 – as opening hours have returned to normal it feels like the right time to revert back to normal shopping protocols as well.

Will the move to L2 impact stores’ takeaway coffee? Will stores with seated cafes open up under L2?  

Stores offering a takeaway coffee service will continue to do so under Alert Level 2 adhering to appropriate restrictions and utilising contactless ordering and payment processes to keep customers and staff safe.  

Stores with seated cafes will be opening back up on a case by case basis. Store cafes which have reopened, will comply with the Government’s ‘three S’ rule (seated, separated and single server) and all customers will be asked to comply with these measures to keep everyone safe. We ask customers to please visit their local store’s Facebook page to learn if their store’s café seated area has reopened. 

Unless stated otherwise, all food and drinks, including coffee, prepared or purchased on site, cannot be consumed on site. Please note this does not apply at store cafes.  

Are stores changing their trading hours to comply with L2 and more people going back to work?

Most stores are back to their normal trading hours, but for confirmation, we recommend visiting the brand website or your local store’s Facebook page to stay across your store’s trading hours.  

Will stores still have product limitations in place? 

Most product limitations in stores have been removed and we encourage customers to continue to shop normally.  

Will there still be queues to get into the store and at checkout? 

With the need to maintain physical distancing, there may still be queues both outside and in-store, this is because shopper numbers in-store will continue to be limited. Security at store entrances are responsible for monitoring stores’ numbers and stores’ one in, one out policy.  

Will Lotto be opening back up? 

Lotto NZ counters are able to re-open under Alert Level 2 with additional health and safety measures in place to keep staff and customers safe. We ask customers to please adhere to the physical distancing measures at Lotto counters. 

Can I shop with my family? 

We will continue to monitor the number of people allowed in stores as we have during previous alert levels to maintain the appropriate physical distancing. Stores are now allowing customers to shop with their families on a store by store basis, but if you can, please continue to shop alone. If you need to shop with your partner or children, please comply with physical distancing measures and stick together when shopping in store. 

I’ve heard some customers are being pretty unkind to some of your front-line staff. 

We need customers to play their part in pulling together to fight COVID-19 and we need to look after each other. The arrival of COVID-19 has absolutely put pressure on our supply chain, but it’s robust and we’re coping well under the circumstances. The best thing people can do to help us get through this is to shop normally and resist the temptation to stock up, this is where the pressure comes.  We have all the basics in good supply.  

Our request is to please be kind to our staff on the front line, they are humans like the rest of us, dealing with volumes akin to Christmas every day. We may all need to take a deep breath from time to time as everyone is doing their best. Please be patient with staff and remember the Golden Rule: treat others how you would like to be treated. 

Are you going to keep sanitising trolleys and baskets?  

Yes, robust cleaning and sanitisation processes for high-touch areas and objects such as checkout conveyor belts, self-checkouts, doorknobs and trolleys remains in place.  

Are you providing antibacterial wipes and/or hand sanitiser for staff or customers? 

Our stores have sanitising facilities for customers to use including wipes for cleaning trolley handles and hand sanitiser dispensing units which are placed strategically around stores. Some stores might even have designated staff wiping down trolleys after customer use.  
 
At store and throughout the supply chain, staff are across all health and safety protocols as advised by health authorities to keep themselves and customers safe. This includes cleaning and disinfecting measures which are in place throughout the entire store and are aligned with food safety practices and frequent hand washing. Our checkouts are sanitised regularly throughout the day and again if any spills and leaks occur.  

We advise customers to thoroughly and routinely wash their hands as maintaining robust personal hygiene and keeping physical distance from others remains the best defence against COVID-19.  

Will checkout bag packers be coming back? 

The return of checkout bag packers will be reintroduced on a store by store basis. Please check with your local store for their policy, but please be prepared to continue packing your own bags and/or trolleys. This is so we can all maintain the 2m physical distancing requirements within checkout areas. Thank you for understanding and your flexibility.  

Update 6 April - New World joins forces with the Student Volunteer Army to assist elderly and vulnerable customers with contactless grocery deliveries

New World is joining forces with the Student Volunteer Army to help get grocery supplies to elderly and vulnerable New Zealanders who are unable to leave home while the country is in Alert Level 4 of the National Pandemic Plan. 

The service, which was piloted at New World Ilam in Christchurch, enables customers who are elderly, or who are potentially more vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, to select and pay for their groceries via a custom-built website, or call in their order to a specially set up call centre. A local member of the Student Volunteer Army will then shop for, collect and deliver their groceries direct to their door.

“We wanted to do something that will help our elderly and vulnerable keep themselves safe from COVID-19 during this difficult time,” says Sam Johnson, Founder of the Student Volunteer Army.  We’ve got the call centre set up, we’ve been training Student Army volunteers up, we’ve piloted the service at New World Ilam and we’re ready to roll. The delivery service is completely contactless, so we minimise the risk to our elderly and vulnerable at every stage of the shopping process and while volunteers are shopping, they will be adhering to the strict physical distancing protocols in place at New World.”

New World will be donating funds to the Student Volunteer Army to enable the scaling of the service across Aotearoa; supporting the cost of managing the rollout of the support service.

Steve Anderson, CEO Foodstuffs South Island says, “We all need to be looking out for each other right now and this is a great way we can collaborate with the Student Volunteer Army to support our elderly and vulnerable customers to get their grocery supplies, while making sure they stay safe, at home.”

The new service is already up and running from New World Ilam in Christchurch with more New World owner operated stores joining in Auckland and Dunedin this week.

Access the service here.

 

Update - 22 March 2020

Our stores remain 100% committed to ensuring New Zealanders have their grocery needs met and we are doing everything we can to make this happen. 

Supermarkets are one of the essential services Government has identified and will remain open and able to meet the needs of New Zealanders. Our store staff, suppliers, truck drivers, warehouses, customer service and support personnel are critical to helping New Zealand unite against COVID-19. We are extremely grateful to the fact our teams are continuing to work tirelessly to meet New Zealand’s needs at this time, without their ongoing dedication we simply couldn’t make it happen for you, they are the mainstay of what we do. But please be assured, we will continue serving New Zealand and meeting Kiwi’s everyday grocery needs. We are a business where every store is locally owned, and each store is making the best decisions every day for their community as this situation unfolds.

But we do want to ask our communities to support us as we work hard to achieve this. Please remain patient and considerate to each other and our staff during this time – our people are placing feeding New Zealand ahead of their own personal needs and we are incredibly grateful for their selfless commitment.

Please #shopnormal and we will do all we can to support you.

Kia kaha New Zealand. 

 

Update - 19 March

New Zealand grows and makes some of the best food in the world (in our humble opinion), and our distribution centres and store teams are going above and beyond to make sure we’ve got plenty of it available on our shelves. But, we need your help:
Shop like you normally would
Buying more than you need means others go without. Be considerate and avoid stockpiling. By all means pick up a couple of extra things in your shop, but there is no need to stock up for weeks in advance.
Shop in our stores
They are safe. While we’ve always had very thorough cleaning, hygiene and food safety processes in our stores, we’ve increased these measures even further to help keep our team and our communities safe and well.

Look out for each other
In times of uncertainty a little kindness goes a long way. Please be kind to fellow shoppers and to our store, supply chain and call centre teams, who are working around the clock to keep shelves stocked and your needs met. They’re our heroes.

Feeding our communities is our No.1 priority and if we all work together, and take care of each other, we can make sure there’s plenty for everyone.

With your support, we’ve got this.
Update 27 March - Foodstuffs stores invite New Zealand’s emergency services and medical personnel to take priority in store

Foodstuffs stores are inviting uniformed emergency services and medical personnel to take priority at the checkout and external queues in any store, at any time nationwide starting today.

Effective immediately at all New World stores around New Zealand, any emergency service or medical professional wearing their uniform or carrying DHB, medical centre or proper identification will be given priority to enter the store, should the store have a line, and to go through the checkout line first. 

“We know it might be hard for emergency services and medical personnel to do their shop at a fixed time every day,” says Chris Quin, CEO of Foodstuffs North Island. “Our goal is to provide New Zealand’s much needed essential personnel with the opportunity to do their shop whenever they need to and not have to wait in any line. They are making an incredible commitment to keep us safe as we unite to fight against COVID-19 and we are incredibly grateful for their service.”

The offering applies to all Military, Civil Defence, Police, Fire and Emergency, Ambulance, and medical professionals, including DHB personnel, doctors and nurses.

“As New Zealand works together to eliminate COVID-19, our emergency services and medical teams are going to be critical to help New Zealanders stay safe and well,” says Steve Anderson, CEO of Foodstuffs South Island. “We’re proud to be able to do our bit to make their lives easier when we know they’ll be working long and stressful hours. They deserve priority access all day every day, and our essential working staff look forward to serving them.” 

 

Update 25 March - New World responds to the country’s move to Alert Level 4 of the National Pandemic Plan 

As we’re sure you’re aware, New Zealand has entered the Alert Level 4 ‘Eliminate’ phase of the National Pandemic Plan. The team at New World would like to provide you with an update on some of the changes that we’re introducing to help keep our customers and staff safe and healthy. 

The good news is that our New World stores will remain open as the Government has identified supermarkets as one of the essential services to stay accessible during Alert Level 4. 

Here are some changes that you’ll see in your New World store: 

Reduced store hours – our locally owned individual stores will determine their own operating hours and may choose to reduce them to cope with the heightened measures now in place. Individual stores will make this call based on the needs of their community and to ensure customers and staff maintain the recommended physical distance of 2m apart. Customers may also see some reduced services across some stores, and we recommend shoppers should visit the brand website or their local store’s Facebook page to stay across their supermarkets trading hours. 

Managed customer numbers in-store – stores will be limiting the number of customers in store at any one time and will be operating a system at entry to manage the volume of people in store. This is incredibly important to ensure customers can move freely around the store to get their grocery essentials and maintain a safe distance away from other customers and staff.  

We ask customers to please be patient and listen to store staff and security to comply with this new store entry system and ask shoppers to please maintain the required 2m physical distancing.  

Reduced numbers of staff on shop floor – stores may also reduce the number of employees working on the shop floor at any one time. This is to maintain the recommend physical distance between staff and customers and to ensure a steady flow of traffic in and out of store. Please respect the appropriate physical distancing recommendation per the Ministry of Health’s guidelines.  

Staff protection measures – customers will begin to see various (but not necessarily all) staff protection measures in place at their local store including staff wearing masks, perspex protective screens at checkout, floor decals communicating the appropriate 2m physical distancing length, physical distancing at self-checkout and checkout, and implementation of pack your own bags. We ask all customers to please comply with store signage and staff direction to maintain physical distancing and safety. This is for both customers and staff health and safety. 

Contactless payments – we encourage customers to use contactless payments such as payWave or Tap & Go, as another was of reducing contact between customers and staff. Help us keep you safe. 

Nominate a family or household member to shop – to comply with physical distancing recommendations, and to ensure there is a steady flow of traffic in and out of stores we are asking New Zealanders who shop in person to please shop alone. This is to ensure the number of people in-store at any one time is kept to a minimum – by leaving your loved ones at home you are helping keep them safe.  

Shop online (where available) – we have introduced contactless online shopping delivery for customers who are self-isolating, vulnerable or unwell – we ask customers simply to let the team know in the comments section when the order is placed. We also ask customers who are feeling unwell to please not come to the store to collect their order and to instead arrange a friend or family member to pick up your groceries for you. 

#shopnormal – we continue to ask customers not stockpile; this is so everyone has a fair shot at buying their grocery essentials. When someone buys five packs of toilet paper, and they only need one, they are taking away from four other people who may have needed it. Some customers might not have the resources to buy up or the ability to visit the store every day. Please buy what you need and be fair to others.  

Be kind – we are asking New Zealand to please support us as we work hard to continue meeting our goal of ensuring everyone has access to grocery essentials. We ask that all customers please remain patient and considerate to each other and staff during this time.  

New World has seen New Zealand through trying times before and we’ll continue to be there for New Zealanders during this trying time. Please be patient, considerate and kind and we’ll get through this together.  

Kia kaha.  

 

Update 23 March - Our response to the Government’s announcement to move to Alert Level 3 of the National Pandemic Plan

New Zealand is now in the Government-enforced restriction phase of the national plan designed to stem the spread of COVID-19. These are extraordinary times and if we are to protect our people then extreme measures do need to be taken.

Our stores remain 100% committed to ensuring New Zealanders have their grocery needs met and we are doing everything we can to make this happen with the support of Government and the authorities including Ministry of Health and Police.  

Supermarkets are one of the Government-identified essential services and will remain open and able to meet the needs of New Zealanders. But please know, the alert Level 3 status will now impact how our stores will operate:

Reduced store hours – individual stores will determine their own operating hours and may choose to reduce them to cope with the heightened measures now in place. Individual stores will make this call based on the needs of their community and to ensure customers and staff maintain the recommended physical distance of at least 2m apart. Customers should visit the website or their local store’s Facebook page to stay across their supermarkets trading hours.

Staff protection measures – customers will begin to see various staff protection measures in place at their local store including staff wearing masks, perspex protective screens at checkout, and floor decals communicating the appropriate 2m physical distancing length. We ask all customers to please comply with store signage and staff direction to maintain physical distancing. 

Community shopping hours – we’re in communication with elderly support groups and they have told us specific shopping hours aren’t what they are looking for, it is also not aligned with Ministry of Health guidance for the over 70s to stay at home. The most important message here is for customers to #shopnormal, so there is product on the shelves for the elderly when friends and relatives are shopping for them.

Nominate a family member to shop – to comply with physical distancing recommendations, and to ensure there is a steady flow of traffic in and out of stores within our ‘one in, one out’ system, we are asking New Zealanders who shop in person to please shop alone. This is to ensure the number of people in-store at any one time is kept to a minimum – by leaving your loved ones at home you are helping keep them safe. 

Contactless payments – we encourage customers to use contactless payments such as payWave as another was of reducing contact between customers and staff. Help us keep you safe.

Shop online (where available) – we have introduced contactless online shopping delivery for customers who are self-isolating, vulnerable or unwell – we ask customers simply to let the team know in the comments section when the order is placed. We also ask customers who are feeling unwell to please not come to the store to collect their Click & Collect order and to instead arrange a friend or family member to pick up your groceries for you.

#shopnormal – we continue to ask customers not stockpile; this is so everyone has a fair shot at buying their grocery essentials. When someone buys five packs of toilet paper, and they only need one, they are taking away from four other people who may have needed it. Some customers might not have the resources to buy up or the ability to visit the store every day. Please buy what you need and be fair to others. 

Be kind – we are asking New Zealand to please support us as we work hard to continue meeting our goal of ensuring everyone has access to grocery essentials. We ask that all customers please remain patient and considerate to each other and staff during this time.

We've seen New Zealand through trying times before and we’ll continue to be there for New Zealanders during this trying time. Please be patient, considerate and kind and we’ll get through this together. 

Kia kaha. 

#ShopNormal

 


Update - 17 March 2020

We’d like to assure our customers that New World has a strong plan in place around COVID-19 which includes keeping our people and customers safe – our focus is very much on ensuring New Zealanders have the essential products they require and we are working with our suppliers to make this happen every day.
 
At store and throughout the supply chain, staff are across all health and safety protocols as advised by health authorities to keep themselves and customers safe. This includes cleaning and disinfecting measures which are in place across all stores and are aligned with food safety practices. 
 
We’re working with our stores and cleaning service providers to provide additional sanitising facilities for customers which include wipes for cleaning trolley handles and hand sanitiser dispensing units which will be placed strategically around stores. Many stores already have these units in place and our service provider is actively working with remaining stores to get the facilities in place.
 
We would like to stress that none of these measures are being used to replace good hand washing techniques and personal care as advised by the Ministry of Health – the health measures outlined by the Ministry are the best way for the public to protect themselves. These measures can be found here

We remind customers to please shop as you normally would. Our online shopping services are under increasing demand and we are doing everything we can to meet your grocery needs. Whilst in store you may see some limits on lines of products – this is to ensure that there is enough for everyone.

We’re grateful for your cooperation and will keep you informed if the situation changes. We recognise that these are unsettling times, and we want you to know that the safety of our customers and staff are our priority.

As you can appreciate, we are currently receiving unprecedented high volumes of calls and emails from our customers, so we ask that you please refrain from contacting us unless it’s urgent – thanks for your patience and understanding.