A year of huge change in the grocery sector just got more interesting with Woolworths NZ’s announcement it is rebranding its Countdown stores back to the Kiwi icon Woolworths name.

Woolworths first started as a general merchandise store in Wellington in 1929 and was around till 2009-2011 when current owners Australian Woolworths Ltd changed its Woolworths and Foodtown stores to the Countdown name. It plans significant investment in the rebranding, with more than $400 million over the next three years allocated to a renewal of the store network, with a focus on older stores.

Besides the name change, Woolworths NZ says it will offer a refreshed loyalty programme Everyday Rewards, an improved “fresh” offer, more convenient eCommerce shopping options, and “a deeper connection” to grassroots community activities.

It will also invest $45 million to make stores safer by adding security measures and upskilling team members, and it will open a state-of-the-art Christchurch Fresh Distribution Centre next year. It says customers “can expect to see more value, better ways to shop in-store and online, sustained investment in our charity partnerships and for us to lead in sustainability”.

Read their full announcement here.