2 million Countdown bags in the rivers each year

Yes, that is the frightening statistic from Countdown’s Craig Taylor.

“42,000 plastic bags going into waterways every week” equals 2,184,000 Countdown plastic bags going into waterways every year.? How many have you seen floating by?

The article is not clear whether “all stores” means all 10 in the Bay of Plenty or all Countdown stores in New Zealand so I checked with the Countdown website.? It seems that the 2 million per year is only in the Bay of Plenty.??”Countdown […] will remove around 350 million plastic bags from circulation each year!”

It is, indeed, depressing that people in the beautiful Bay of Plenty take their 42,000, so-called, single-use plastic bags from the Countdown checkout and dispose of them in the nearest creek or river.

But it is so heartwarming to note that Countdown is replacing the,?so-called, single-use plastic bags with “eco-bags”.? You see, adding “eco” to anything makes it good, acceptable and environmentally friendly.? Eco-bags cannot migrate to waterways – Eugenie will be so pleased. Read more »

Countdown cave to activists’ demands but not right now

I sincerely hope that the seven-year target that Countdown has set is a stalling tactic to deal with the unrealistic demands of activists. While it is a lovely idea to think that all eggs can be free range or barn eggs the statistical reality currently is that demand exceeds supply. This is the very reason why a New Zealand free range egg supplier was recently caught selling caged eggs as free range. They simply could not meet the demand so they resorted to fraud.

I wonder if Countdown is being a smidge loose with the truth?itself with its promise of free range and barn eggs in seven years time. It seems like a good PR strategy to stop the activists attacking them and leaves them room later to say, ” oh dear, terribly sorry but you see demand still exceeds supply so we can’t make our target.”

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Cry baby of the week


Peter Haynes: Cry baby of the week

Our cry baby of the week is Peter Haynes, the Labour/Green aligned Albert Eden Local Board chairman who is concerned that a newer and bigger supermarket will mean he has to walk further to do his shopping.

Renovations to one of Auckland’s busiest supermarkets, expanded by a third to now be a half hectare, will be marked at an event next week but a community leader says the store is now too big.

Countdown Mt Eden, the Valley Rd shop with an average weekly customer count of 33,000, has been pushed out from 3560sq m to 5000sq m or a half-hectare.

Wiebe van der Veen, store manager, said another 50 people had been employed to staff the larger supermarket, operating in the expanded format since September. ? Read more »

Countdown’s crap code allows hackers to give away free fuel

Countdown really can’t do anything right. After being the subject to a toothless Commerce Commission investigation where more than 90 suppliers dobbed them in, they have continued on their merry bullying ways. Suppliers are once again contacting me about Countdown’s bully-boy tactics.

While they are grinding the hell out of their suppliers they are also allowing hackers to subvert their code for promotions with their partners.

Kiwis are able to print their own fuel discount vouchers after hackers broke an algorithm and shared codes to get people savings at the pump.

The hack involving an algorithm Countdown developed for Z Energy stations was discussed at last month’s Kiwicon computer security conference in Wellington.

“The petrol station had earlier disabled manual barcode entry at pumps to stop codes being shared online, but the researchers say fixing the flaw will require the algorithm to be re-written,” The Register website reported.

The Register said two researchers generated the discount codes on platforms including an unpublished Android app, a barcode printer, and even T-shirts. ?? Read more »


‘Woolies Woes’ leaked documents ‘devastating’


Oh dear, just when the management of Countdown thought their problems with suppliers were behind them.

Over the ditch Woolworths – owners of Countdown stores in New Zealand, are in the midst of another PR crisis.

And it is all about how they deal with their suppliers. Gee what a surprise.

In an exclusive at titled Leaked document reveals Woolies? woes as manager hits out at ?devastating? mental health issues, the story is all bad for Woolworths.

?A LEAKED Woolworths document has revealed the dire state of the supermarket?s relationship with its suppliers, while one senior manager has slammed the company for forcing staff to clean up for mistakes at the top.

?Meanwhile, results of a confidential survey that measures suppliers? attitudes to retailers versus their competitors shows Woolworths? relationship with suppliers at the lowest level ever.

The 2015 Advantage Mirror Report shows Woolworths Net Favourable Score (NFS) has plummeted to 14 points, down 10 points from last year and 10 points below the average score of the top five.

One senior category manager who spoke to on the condition of anonymity said the changes over the past eight years had been ?devastating?.

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Countdown’s revolving door leadership


Steve Donohue, running back to Australia

In March we farewelled?Dave Chambers from Countdown, now it appears his replacement is buggering off to Australia as well.

Countdown issued a press release via Supermarket News:

COUNTDOWN has announced that Steve Donohue will be stepping down as?Managing Director?to ?take up?a new role within Woolworths Food Group, following his appointment as Director of?Buying and Merchandising for Woolworths Supermarkets, based in Sydney. ? Read more »

Kiwi Suppliers Watch Out


In business when you?re at the top, there?s only one place to go, and that?s into ?retirement?.

Woolworths’ CEO in Australia has fallen victim to the demands of shareholders as he failed to deliver profit growth.

Woolworths’s three-year strategy to reinvigorate profit growth is in doubt after the architect of the strategy,?chief executive Grant O’Brien, fell on his sword following?a deterioration in sales over the past few months.

The supermarket giant on Wednesday?said?it had?launched a global search for a new chief executive after Mr O’Brien, 53, told?chairman Ralph?Waters on Monday night he intended to retire?after less than four years in the job. One thousand two hundred jobs will be cut.

Nice to see how they have just popped into the paragraph that 1,200 jobs will be cut as well. But hey let’s focus on the boss. Regular readers will also recognise the name Ralph Waters. ? Read more »

Countdown apologises for sign but not to 90 Kiwi suppliers


Gee, it?s amazing that Australian-owned supermarket giant Countdown is quick off the bat with an apology after an amazing gaff at their Meadowbank supermakert.

Bet their supplier Griffins is thrilled at their key brand of Krispie Toasted Coconut biscuits getting a roasting on social media.

Countdown called it an ?unfortunate case of human error?. ? Read more »

The difference between Aussie regulators and Kiwi ones

Here in New Zealand serious allegations were levelled at Countdown for the way they were raping their suppliers.

The Commerce Commission received more than 90 complaints from informants and they decided that there was nothing to see here and told everyone to move along.

In Australia the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Coles to court and slammed them. Coles is now making multi-million dollar payouts tot heir suppliers.

The Coles supermarket chain has refunded millions of dollars to suppliers as part of a dispute resolution process.

Coles appointed former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett as an independent arbiter after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took the company to court over claims of unconscionable conduct towards its suppliers.

Mr Kennett recommended the supermarket suppliers, including farmers and food processors, be awarded financial settlements as part of that process.

In December last year, the Federal Court found Coles had demanded payments from suppliers to which it was not entitled by threatening harm to suppliers, and withheld money from suppliers it had no right to withhold. ? ? Read more »

Brazen profiteering off ANZAC gets Woolworths smacked up with memes

It should be no surprise to Countdown suppliers that their parent company Woolworths in Australia has been slammed for their ANZAC promotion.

Woolworths tribute to the Anzac legend backfired spectacularly on Tuesday night with its “fresh in our memories” social media campaign launching a barrage of memes.

In anticipation of the centenary of the WWI Gallipoli campaign this April, the supermarket giant asked Australians to share a memory of someone affected by war by changing their social media profile pictures to an image of that person using its?profile picture generator – which has now been taken down from the internet.

The generator branded the uploaded images with the Woolworths logo and the text “Lest We Forget Anzac 1915-2015. Fresh in our memories”. But the attempt to tie the Anzac story and loss in war to the “fresh food people” brand was swiftly met with derision and laughter.

It quickly became embarrassingly clear how easily the campaign could be hijacked. Twitter users got creative with their choice of profile pictures, tweeting the results with the hashtags ?#freshinourmemories and #brandzacday.

Some used the generator to criticise crassness of a marketing campaign that cashed in on Anzac.

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