The country’s first purpose-built online supermarket has opened in Auckland.

The Countdown e-store in Penrose will fill up to 7500 online orders a week from the Auckland region.

It will employ 200 people, including 106 new jobs.

Countdown said the e-store, which will operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week was planned prior to the virus lockdown.

The company said the new e-Store will significantly ease the pressure of staff at 10 busy central Auckland supermarkets.

Its digital general manager, Sally Copland, said the new e-store has two purposes, to allow people to shop from home and to free-up stores to cater for customers who prefer to shop in person.

Countdown is expecting continued growth in its online shopping service once the country comes out of the Covid-19 crisis.

It said prior to Covid there was a 38 percent growth in online shopping, and that has now increased by 300 percent.

Copland said the popularity of online shopping is likely to continue post-Covid.

“The more people who try an online shopping service and are able to get what they need and get it from home and right now it’s about being able to stay home and stay safe, in the future it will be being able to use your time for other things you would rather be doing and I just think that Kiwis will continue to embrace using an online service.

”Because customers have changed how they are shopping that we will continue to see I think really high-use of our service ongoing.”

Copland said she does not think an increase in online shopping will come at the expense of physical supermarkets.

She said stores serve a real purpose.

”Never before than now we have seen our stores as being a really important part of our communities.”

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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