Foodstuffs responds 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 New World, PAK'nSAVE, Four Square, Gilmour's and Trent's 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 1.5m apart. Customers should visit the brand 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 1.5m 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.

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.

Foodstuffs 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.