What is happening with the take over wars? Some call it monopoly, but in reality a monopoly is just a patent. A patent is the result of innovation and inventiveness. A monopoly in business is a different thing. It is what Microsoft tried to do in computing before Sun came on teh scene.


Type Subsidiary
Industry Retail
Founded 1981
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Number of locations 104 (August 2010)[1]
Owner(s) Woolworths Limited
Parent Woolworths Limited
Website www.countdown.co.nz

Countdown is a New Zealand full-service supermarket chain owned by Woolworths Limited.

Founded in 1981, Countdown is now the flagship brand of Progressive Enterprises, Woolworths' New Zealand supermarket subsidiary, with 75 supermarkets across New Zealand. Although stores vary in size, Countdown stores are normally larger than average (newer supermarkets are around 4,000–4,400 m2/43,000–47,000 sq ft[2]) and are able to sell products slightly more cheaply than smaller Foodtown and Woolworths supermarkets.

"New Generation" Countdowns - those that have been built or refurbished since mid-2008 - have 30% of their retail floor space dedicated to fresh foods, a wider range of products (up to 30,000 items[3]), and energy-efficient and sustainable heating and refrigeration systems. Older Countdowns follow the pattern of other New Zealand supermarkets.

In September 2009, Progressive Enterprises announced it would re-brand all its Foodtown and Woolworths stores to Countdown over the next five years as stores are refurbished.[4]


In May 1981, the first Countdown market opened in Northlands, Christchurch. This business was established by Rattrays Wholesale and gained momentum through this decade. The Rattrays Wholesale Group included the Rattrays Cash and Carry warehouses, tobacco vans, now known as the Red Arrow Distributors fleet and also included the SuperValue group of franchised supermarkets and now operating as SuperValue/FreshChoice.

In 1992, Foodland Associated Limited (FAL) Australia, purchased the Countdown/Rattrays business. This acquisition was then followed by gaining a majority share holding in Progressive Enterprises Limited, including General Distributors Limited, trading as the Foodtown.

In October 1993, Foodland Associated Limited (FAL) brought the majority shareholding in Progressive Enterprises from Coles Myer and shortly after brought all remaining public shares and delisted Progressive from the New Zealand stock exchange. With this purchase, Progressive Enterprises became the parent company for a number of FAL brands. Progressive Enterprises consisted of Foodtown Supermarkets, Countdown, Georgie Pie, Rattrays and Supervalue.

On June 17, 2002, Progressive Enterprises Ltd bought Woolworths (NZ) Ltd from Hong Kong based owners Dairy Farm Group. The sale saw Progressive's supermarket brands Foodtown, Countdown, 3 Guys, SuperValue and FreshChoice joined by Woolworths, Big Fresh and Price Chopper. As a result, PEL increased its share of the NZ grocery market to approximately 45%.

During the period of 1993-2005, Countdown evolved from a Foodmarket type format offering mainly groceries to a Full Service Discount Supermarket. The stores vary in size due to the consolidation of brands after the merger with Woolworths (NZ) Ltd. Many Big Fresh, Price Chopper and 3 Guys stores were rebranded to Coundown stores during after this merger.

On November 24, 2005, Australian company Woolworths Limited purchased Progressive Enterprises Limited from Foodland Associated Limited.

In October 2006, Progressive Enterprises announced a Discount Fuel Scheme with Gull Petroleum and Shell to offer discounts on petrol when shoppers spend $40 or more in their Woolworths, Foodtown or Countdown Stores. This scheme is similar to the one their Parent company Woolworths Limited offers in Australia. Foodstuffs stores countered this with the same offer at BP and their own New World and Pak'n Save fuel sites.

In July 2008, Onecard, which was previously only available to Woolworths and Foodtown customers, was extended to Countdown.



Countdown's main competitors are Foodstuffs-owned full-service supermarket New World and discount supermarket Pak'n Save.

In terms of pricing, Countdown generally places on par with New World or in between the two. In a September 2009 Consumer magazine survey, Countdown was placed third in Auckland, with a basket of 40 brand items costing $136, $4 behind New World and $21 behind Pak'n Save.[5] However, a year earlier in September 2008, a Consumer magazine survey placed Countdown second in Auckland, with a basket of 15 private label items costing $38.24, only $0.91 behind fellow Progressive brand Woolworths (the Woolworths store in question has since become a Countdown), and $1.87 ahead of the nearest rival, Pak'n Save.[6]

New World
Type Subsidiary
Founded 1963
Headquarters Wellington, New Zealand
Number of locations 132 (December 2009)
Parent Foodstuffs
Website www.newworld.co.nz

New World is a New Zealand full-service supermarket chain owned by the Foodstuffs cooperative.

Founded in 1963, New World was the first American-style full-service supermarket brand of Foodstuffs, and the second in New Zealand (after Foodtown). As of June 2010, there is a total of 134 New World supermarkets across the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

New World stores tend to be smaller (2,500–3,000 square metres (27,000–32,000 sq ft)) and more upscale then their competitors. Prices tend to be higher in most stores, due to the cost of upscale presentation, large employee numbers (200-300 in some large stores), and often a lack of competition, especially in smaller towns. New World has been a member of the Fly Buys program since that program started in September 1996.

New World traditionally advertises with a circular, delivered weekly to mailboxes, and containing discounts and specials. One of the hallmarks of New World in the upper North Island are their "Auto-Coupons", which are much like regular coupons but come off automatically at the register without a customer having to physically present a cut-out coupon. Lower North Island and South Island stores however require the customer to use a coupon discount card which is found in the circulated coupon book. The card has a barcode which when scanned reduces coupon products to the discount price. If you do not receive it in the mail, you can usually use the store one, with prompting.

In early 2003 New World helped introduce Superbank, a completely electronic banking network aimed at saving customers money. While New World Supermarkets had much advertising for the service in their stores, Superbank didn't have any physical services inside the store. In August 2006 it was announced that after heavy losses Superbank would be shut down and have its portfolio sold to GE Money.



Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd
Type Co-operative
Industry Retail
Founded 1922
Headquarters New Zealand
Products New World, Pak'n Save, Four Square
Revenue Auckland decrease NZ$3,292,636,000 (2009)
Wellington increase NZ$2,141,694,000 (2009)
South Island increase NZ$2,145,650,000 (2008)
Operating income Auckland decrease NZ$97,757,000 (2009)
Wellington increase NZ$58,926,000 (2009)
South Island increase NZ$167,331,000 (2008)
Net income Auckland decrease NZ$3,210,000 (2008)
Wellington increase NZ$-9,056,000 (2009)
South Island decrease NZ$-2,359,000
Total assets Auckland NZ$1,466,550,000 (2008)
Wellington NZ$700,487,000 (2009)
South Island NZ$732,608,000 (2008)
Total equity Auckland NZ$642,093,000 (2008)
South Island NZ$177,894,000 (2008)
Website http://www.foodstuffs.co.nz/

Foodstuffs is a group of three New Zealand grocery and liquor retailers' cooperatives based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch which collectively control an estimated 57% of the New Zealand grocery market. The group owns retail franchises like 4 Square, New World and Pak'n'Save, in-store private labels Pam's and Budget, the Bell Tea and Coffee Company and a ten percent stake in The Warehouse.[1]


Four Square is a trans-Tasman chain of small scale grocery stores - ranging from small dairies to small supermarkets. During the 1950s the Foodstuffs advertising department designed the famous "Mr 4 Square" who initially appeared only in newspaper advertising and posters, but was developed to become part of the Four Square identity, appearing in every Four Square store and eventually becoming a nationally recognised symbol in New Zealand, remaining famous to this day

Four Square is a trans-Tasman chain of small scale grocery stores - ranging from small dairies to small


Pak'n'Save Logo
Pak'n Save New Plymouth

Pak'n Save is a New Zealand discount supermarket chain owned by the Foodstuffs cooperative. Founded in 1985, Pak'n Save was the last of the five current major New Zealand supermarkets (Countdown, Foodtown, New World, Pak'n Save, and Woolworths) to be founded. As of December 2009, there are 45 Pak'n Save stores operating across the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Stores are large and have a no-frills environment, often with unlined interiors and concrete floors. Customers are also asked to pack their own bags or boxes, and charged for plastic bags in most stores.

Pak'n Save was developed as a result of a trip by a number of Foodstuffs executives to the United States in 1985. On that visit they saw Cub Foods, operated by SuperValu, Pak'n Save operated by Safeway, and a number of other box warehouse supermarkets. Foodstuffs then copied this format in the New Zealand market. The original Pak'n Save format was almost an identical clone of Safeway's Pak 'N' Save chain in Northern California.



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