COVID-19 Alert Level 1 FAQs
We’re proud to stand with New Zealanders and celebrate the elimination of COVID-19, and a return to shopping normally for our stores, teams and most importantly, our customers.
Are store opening hours back to normal?
Some of our stores temporarily adjusted their opening times during Levels 4-2, most will be back to normal in Level 1. You can check your current store opening hours in the top toolbar of the PAK'nSAVE website.
Will you be continuing with enhanced hygiene practices?
Yes, the robust cleaning and sanitisation processes for high-touch areas and objects such as checkout conveyor belts, self-checkouts, doorknobs and trolleys remain in place at Level 1.
Will I be required to keep physical distance in store?
Now we’re at Level 1, customers are no longer required to keep 2m physical distancing in store.
Will I need to queue to get into the store?
At Level 1 we’re not required to physically distance or restrict the number of people in the store at any one time, so it’s really unlikely you’ll encounter a queue to get into a store.
Will the plastic screens at checkout stay in place?
We’re leaving the plastic screens up during Level 1, we do plan to remove themonce we’re clear of the Levels.
Will all departments be open in the store?
Yes, our bakers, butchers, seafood, and deli serve overs are all back to operating normally.
Can I bring my own container or reusable hot drink cup to store?
Good news. If your store previously accepted BYO containers and reusable hot drink cups, you can now bring them with you to store during Level 1.
Can I shopwith friends and family?
Yes! At Level 1 you can shop at the supermarket with whoever you choose.
Will I still be able to use the government app for contact tracing?
Yes, it’s recommended we all continue to keep a record of where we’ve been during Level 1, so we’ll be keeping the Ministry of Health QR codes on display for customers to use.
Can I bring my reusable bags into the store?
Absolutely. Reusable bags can now be brought into the store with you.
Foodstuffs celebrates stamping out COVID-19 with a return to normal in stores
Foodstuffs is proud to stand with New Zealanders and celebrate the elimination of COVID-19, and a return to shopping normally for our stores, teams and most importantly, our customers.
After 75 days of restrictions to head off the COVID-19 threat and to protect one another, especially our most vulnerable New Zealanders, by staying home and keeping tight bubbles, we are pleased that our stores are back to normal.
Everything customers know and love about their local New World, PAK’nSAVE or Four Square, has returned, with a few exceptions including our enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols so we can continue to keep our staff and customers safe, and Ministry of Health QR code signage for contact tracing.
“We are thankful to our customers and to all New Zealanders for their hard work and sacrifices that have helped us all to eliminate COVID-19 and get to Level 1,” says Chris Quin, CEO of Foodstuffs North Island. “There is no denying that the last couple of months have been challenging. Our team and our supplier partners battled with pressures on key products like hand sanitiser and toilet paper in February, and then yeast and flour flew off the shelves in March as New Zealanders discovered their inner baker, and throughout lockdown we had to manage stringent physical distancing measures and limit numbers in store, all of which posed unique challenge for store teams.
But thanks to our customers, we navigated this hardship together and have come out on the other side stronger and wiser. Thank you to every New Zealander for the positive role you played throughout this crisis, and thank you to our suppliers for partnering and rolling their sleeves up to assure New Zealanders had what they needed for their families.”
“On behalf of our 39,000-strong team, to New Zealand’s 5 million-strong team, thank you for your patience, understanding and collaboration,” says Steve Anderson, CEO of Foodstuffs South Island. “We’ve looked out for one another, played it safe and remained vigilant, and these efforts enabled us to beat COVID-19 together. Our teams look forward to continue feeding New Zealand and welcoming customers back in store without the restrictions of COVID-19.”
What does Level 1 look like in our stores?
• Our fresh experts in our Bakery, Deli, Butchery and Seafood serve over departments are back to full service and look forward to serving up mouth-watering doughnuts, the freshest catch of the day, finest meats and more to customers.
• Physical distancing is no longer required in-store, which means there are no more customer limits or queues to enter stores. We’ve also opened back up all checkout lanes and self-checkouts.
• We invite you to shop with your friends, family, spouse, whānau or children again, rather than alone. Thanks for bearing with us on this one.
• Our bag packers are back at checkout ready to serve you, and you are most welcome to shop with your reusable bags again.
• Our BYO container and reusable coffee cup offerings have returned.
Customers will continue to see our enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocol in stores, as well as hand sanitising stations, so we can continue to keep our customers and staff safe. The perspex screens are also sticking around for a bit longer. In line with the Government’s request to continue making contact tracing available, some stores will make available QR codes for customers to scan and register upon store entry.
“It’s been a long road from #shopnormal to shopping normally again, but we did it New Zealand,” says Quin. “When you return to stores and settle back into your new normal, our team look forward to serving you and maybe helping you enjoy a celebratory coffee or doughnut.”
“You did a damn good job New Zealand. Thank you.”
PAK'nSAVE confirms supermarket safety protocols remain at 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. 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.
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.
Foodstuffs’ $1 million donation to support more than 30 charities across New Zealand
Foodstuffs’ brands – New World, PAK’nSAVE, Four Square, Gilmours and Trents – made a commitment in mid-April to donate more than $1 million to help New Zealanders who are facing tough times due to COVID-19.
PAK’nSAVE sticks to what it knows best during COVID-19
At a time when we’re faced with uncertainty, unemployment and a looming recession, brand marketing is more important than ever, but the stakes are much higher. PAK’nSAVE is leaning into its role as an essential service and innovating how it communicates to customers in a way that’s informative, but with the brand’s usual humour.
“New Zealanders want to hear from brands during the current climate, especially grocery brands, as we’re an essential service that is privileged to continue to operate,” says Kamran Kazalbash, Head of Marketing and CX for PAK’nSAVE. “We have a responsibility to look after our staff, customers and the communities in which we operate. Yet we also have a marketing responsibility that we didn’t necessarily have before. Consumers want to know brands are still operating and recognise the unprecedented situation we’re all in right now. They want to hear how we’re leading in this crisis, what their next shop will look like with us and that everything is going to be okay.”
“Our customers want to be reassured we’re sticking to our position of New Zealand’s lowest food prices no matter what – this has not and will not change. The familiarity of Stickman and PAK’nSAVE yellow, but in a language that communicates what’s going on right now because of COVID-19, reminds consumers that one day, things will go back to normality, whatever that might look like and when, but most importantly it gives people hope that this too shall pass.”
Stickman might be late to the party, but he always makes an entrance, as PAK’nSAVE is also making its Instagram debut this week on @instickman
“We researched and leveraged our insights to ensure we were making the right decision launching Stickman on Instagram in the current environment,” says Kazalbash. “Most 25-49-year-olds are reporting the highest levels of ‘feeling scared’ at present, with 18-34s having to adapt their lifestyles the most in the current climate. These groups are looking for an escape and new ways to stay positive. Staying digitally connected with PAK’nSAVE on Instagram will hopefully help alleviate some of the uncertainty they’re feeling now.”
PAK’nSAVE stores have also rolled out nationwide ‘quaran-tunes’ on in-store radio so customers can enjoy physical distancing-related music. DJ Stickman will introduce the songs, so customers know it’s time to listen up. Song samples include:
Here’s something I don’t want to be. Yes, you guessed it, it’s ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’ by Stealers Wheel. Keep two metres apart everyone and enjoy the song.
If someone said this next song title to you outside of lockdown, it would really Sting. Haha. You’ll get the joke in a minute. This is ‘Don’t Stand So Close to Me’ by The Police.
MC Hammer was ahead of his time. He’s been telling people to keep their distance since the 80s.
The brand has also adjusted its above the line marketing to reflect protective measures in place at stores and communicate how customers can stay safe. In its brand TVC, Stickman is on a mission to remind customers to shop normal and stay safe, in his usual snarky tone and humour. PAK’nSAVE even has a new logo, swapping out its usual tagline of “Our Policy: New Zealand’s Lowest Grocery Prices” to “Our Policy: Keep it Distance-y New Zealand.”
“It’s obviously not business as usual for PAK’nSAVE, or any brand,” says David (DT) Thomason, Chief Strategy Officer of FCB New Zealand, the award-winning creative agency behind PAK’nSAVE. “It’s an uncertain and scary time for everyone, and it’s critical for brands who are leading us through the uncertainty to do it responsibly and authentically. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done with a smile, and in PAK’nSAVE’s case, it’d be wrong not to.”
One of the reasons Kiwis love PAK'nSAVE is because we believe in fair – because what's fair for you is good for New Zealand.
All New Zealanders need access to healthy and affordable food – especially those who are struggling the most.
This need is even more critical right now as the economic impact of COVID-19 starts to affect so many Kiwis. We don’t underestimate that this is a serious and challenging time for you, which is why the PAK'nSAVE team is proud to be part of Foodstuffs' donation to New Zealanders in need.
Supporting New Zealand
On behalf of both Foodstuffs Co-operatives, all New World, PAK'nSAVE and Four Square teams and owner operators across New Zealand, we want to say thank you.
• We're grateful for the kindness and understanding you are showing as we continue to navigate these challenging times
• We remain committed to playing our part to feed New Zealand
Our locally owned stores and Foodstuffs co-operatives already support many organisations doing great work in our local communities – from food banks to schools, community initiatives and charities
• Last year our stores donated the equivalent of 8 million meals to New Zealanders through food rescue partnerships alone
• We're proud to continue supporting their incredible work
A boost in support for those who need it most
To further support our communities, we will be donating more than $1 million to help New Zealanders who are facing tough times due to COVID-19, through a number of our charitable and social partners.
This additional $1m donation will enable key community partners to support Kiwis in-need even further, and enables them to kickstart innovative initiatives aimed at getting groceries to our most physically and financially vulnerable during this time.
The organisations will include existing partnerships we have such as local community food banks, food rescue partners, Eat My Lunch, and the Student Volunteer Army.
Thanking you and our amazing staff
Thank you our amazing staff and customers, you have been patient, kind and supportive over the past few weeks. During this time:
• We have hired more than 1500 employees to meet your needs
• We look forward to continuing to build on our 39,000 strong workforce
• We are giving our waged front-line, distribution and transport employees a 10% allowance on top of their pay for the hours worked throughout the lockdown
Working hard to meet your needs
We are incredibly proud of our team who have been working hard to keep stores clean, well-stocked and open over the last six weeks. During that time there have been significant shifts in demand for a variety of food, grocery and household essentials.
• Our supply chain has been working 24/7 to keep store shelves stocked to meet customers’ changing needs and our stock level in stores is normalising
• Our amazing teams continue to stock shelves throughout the day and night so you have access to the products you want regardless of what time you shop with us
Thanks again for your understanding and kindness as we navigate these challenging times together.
How to shop safe this Easter
The staff at your local PAK'nSAVE want to ensure you can shop for your Easter essentials safely. Here are some things you can do to help our stores:
Check your local store opening hours for Easter weekend
Each store will have different opening hours to meet the needs of their local communities. Please check online to find your local store’s opening hours so you can plan the time of your shop.
Plan what you need before you shop
Getting in and out of the supermarket quickly is important to ensure we all limit contact and stay safe. Make sure you know exactly what you need to buy to make your shop as efficient as possible.
Designate one person to do your shop
To help limit shoppers please send just one person from your ‘bubble’. This means everyone can move freely around the store and maintain a safe distance from fellow shoppers and staff.
Follow physical distancing guidelines
Remember to maintain a two metre physical distance from staff and customers when in store and wait at the designated floor markers when in line to help keep everyone safe.
Be patient and kind
Let’s continue to be patient, kind and considerate towards other shoppers, staff and one another. We know things are taking a little longer, but with your help and kindness we can all get through this together.
From all of us at PAK'nSAVE,
Happy Easter and kia kaha Aotearoa.
PAK'nSAVE 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 PAK'nSAVE 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.”
As we’re sure you’re aware, New Zealand will enter the Alert Level 4 ‘Eliminate’ phase of the National Pandemic Plan at 11.59pm on 25th March 2020. The team at PAK’nSAVE 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 PAK’nSAVE stores will remain open as the Government has identified supermarkets as one of the essential services during Alert Level 4.
Here are some changes that you’ll see in your PAK’nSAVE store:
Managed customer numbers in-store
Stores will be limiting the number of shoppers in-store at any one time. This is incredibly important to ensure you can move freely around to get your grocery essentials and maintain a safe physical distance away from others.
Reduced number of staff on shop floor
Stores may reduce the number of employees working on the shop floor at any one time. This is to maintain the recommended 2 metre physical distance between individuals. Please respect the appropriate physical distance recommendation as per the Ministry of Health’s guidelines.
And please remember to:
Nominate one person to do your grocery shop
We’re asking you to please shop alone. This is to ensure we can keep the number of people in-store at any one time to a minimum.
Please shop like you normally would and remember there is no need to stockpile. Please only buy what you need and be fair to others who may not have the budget or transportation to stock up. There is enough supply in New Zealand – when products are out of stock on the shelves, it only means there are more on the way to keep up with the sudden increase in purchases.
With everything that’s going on in the world it’s important that we continue to be kind and considerate towards other shoppers, staff and one another. Together, we can nail this.
Remember, we’ll remain open – PAK’nSAVE is a core essential service and we are fully dedicated to supporting New Zealand through this.
As you will likely be aware Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today that New Zealand has moved to Alert Level 3 of the National Pandemic Plan in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19. These are extraordinary times and if we are to protect our people, extreme measures do need to be taken.
Please be assured that our PAK’nSAVE stores remain 100% committed to ensuring your grocery needs are met and we are doing everything we can to make this happen.
Supermarkets are one of the essential services, as identified by the government and will remain open and able to meet your needs. Please be aware, 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 2.0m apart. Any updates to store hours will be made on this page, please check here to stay across your supermarket's trading hours.
Staff protection measures
You will begin to see various (but not necessarily all) staff protection measures in place at your local store including staff wearing masks, protective screens at checkout and floor decals communicating the appropriate 2.0m physical distancing length. We ask you 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 you 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 you to please shop alone when coming into your local store. 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.
We encourage you to use contactless payments as another way of reducing contact between you and staff. Help us keep you safe.
Click & Collect
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.
Please don't stockpile. This is so everyone has an opportunity to buy their grocery essentials. Please buy what you need and be fair and kind to others.
We are asking you to please support us as we work hard to continue meeting our goal of ensuring everyone has access to grocery essentials. We ask that everyone please remains patient and considerate to each other and staff during this time.
We’ll continue to be there for you during this hard time. Please be patient, considerate and kind and we’ll get through this together.
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.
A message from New Zealand's supermarkets
We understand this is a very uncertain time for our country. We’re all concerned about the health and safety of our family, friends and communities.
And we know that access to safe, quality food and groceries is essential to our health and peace of mind.
We want to help alleviate some of the uncertainty many of us are feeling by letting you know that when it comes to food and groceries, we’ve got you covered.
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.
Thanks New Zealand - with your support, we’ve got this.
We’d like to assure our customers that PAK’nSAVE 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.