Foodtown

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For the American supermarket cooperative, see Foodtown (United States). For other similarly named stores, see Food Town (disambiguation).
Foodtown
Former type Subsidiary
Industry Retail
Fate Rebranded to Countdown
Founded 1958
Defunct 13 November 2011 (2011-11-13)
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Number of locations 3 (2011)[1]
Parent Progressive Enterprises
Website www.foodtown.co.nz

Foodtown was a New Zealand supermarket chain owned by Progressive Enterprises. The supermarkets tended to be integrated with a shopping mall, instead of being stand-alone stores. As of November 2011, all Foodtown stores have been changed into Countdown supermarkets.[2]

History[edit]

Foodtown, Central Auckland 2008
The same building rebranded as Countdown in 2010

1958 - 1961 Foodtown Supermarkets Limited[edit]

On 18 June 1958, the first Foodtown supermarket of 1,400 square metres was opened on a 1.1-hectare site at Otahuhu. Three small business owners - Tom Ah Chee (New Zealand-born Chinese), Norman Kent, and John Brown - sold their small businesses and pooled their resources to personally build and supervise construction of New Zealand's first American-style supermarket. The Otahuhu market proved a success and a second Foodtown was built and opened in Takanini, South Auckland in 1961.

1961 - 1988 Progressive Enterprises[edit]

In 1961 the company was restructured when the Picot family joined the business. Their family company, Progressive Enterprises, contributed an equal amount of capital to that accumulated by the three original partners and became the parent company to Foodtown Supermarkets Limited.

1988 - 1992 Coles Myer Limited[edit]

In March 1988 Progressive Enterprises became part of the Australian company Coles Myer. During this time it saw the expansion of the Foodtown chain to areas outside Auckland (Hamilton, Wellington, Tauranga, Palmerston North and Wanganui) and also saw greater expansion within the wider Auckland area.

1992 - 1994 Progressive Enterprises - Public Company[edit]

In April 1992 Coles Myer relaunched Progressive Enterprises onto the New Zealand stock exchange as a public company. During this time no new Foodtown Supermarkets were opened.

1993 - 2005 Progressive Enterprises - Foodland Associated Limited (FAL)[edit]

In October 1993 Foodland Associated Limited (FAL) bought the majority shareholding from Coles Myer and shortly after bought 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, 3 Guys, Georgie Pie Restaurants, Rattrays and Supervalue.

On 17 June 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%.

Foodtown was the first Supermarket in New Zealand to launch a loyalty card called the "Foodtown Card", which offered exclusive discounts and competitions to cardholders. This was renamed in 2003 after the merger of Progressive and Woolworths (NZ) Ltd as the "Foodtown Woolworths onecard".

2005 - 2011 Progressive Enterprises - Woolworths Limited[edit]

On 24 November 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.

The Countdown logo that will replace the Foodtown brand.

In 2009, Progressive Enterprises announced their intention to phase out the Foodtown brand. Existing Foodtown locations were to be rebranded as Countdown over a 5 year period, as each store was to receive periodic upgrades.[3] No existing Foodtown stores were to be closed as a result of this - although the store in Tauranga, which was situated almost directly opposite a Countdown store, closed in May 2011 due to "dwindling profits".[4] In some areas, the presence of a Foodtown in close proximity to a Countdown resulted in two Countdowns within close distance of each other. An example is in Manukau, where a Countdown exists in the Manukau City Mall located at Westfield Manukau as well as in the stand alone Manukau branch located on Great South Road.[5] Another example is the Countdown and ex-Foodtown in Highland Park, the two stores are now branded Countdown are around 100m apart.

On 14 November 2011, the last Foodtown at Browns Bay was converted into a Countdown, bringing an end to the iconic New Zealand brand.[2]

Private Label brands[edit]

  • Woolworths Select
  • Woolworths Home Brand
  • Woolworths Naytura
  • Woolworths Freefrom
  • Woolworths Essentials
  • Signature Range

Previous Private Label brands[edit]

  • Basics - Replaced by Homebrand in 2005

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Progressive Enterprises Ltd". 
  2. ^ a b "Last Woolworths and Foodtown stores farewelled". Countdown. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Foodtown, Woolworths brands on way out". The New Zealand Herald. 21 September 2009. 
  4. ^ http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/11638-tauranga-foodtown-set-to-close.html
  5. ^ Slade, Maria (21 September 2009). "Supermarkets rebranded in $1b overhaul". The New Zealand Herald. 

External links[edit]