Woolworths NZ

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Woolworths NZ
Woolworths NZ (2018–present)
Progressive Enterprises (1948–18)
Progressive Enterprises
Founded1949; 71 years ago (1949)
(as Progressive Enterprises)
HeadquartersFavona, Auckland, New Zealand
ProductsCountdown, FreshChoice, SuperValue
RevenueIncrease NZ$4,957 million (2008-9)
Increase NZ$208 million (2008-9)
OwnerWoolworths Limited (2005–Present)
Number of employees
ParentWoolworths Limited
(Previously by Foodland associated Limited)

Woolworths NZ (formerly Progressive Enterprises) is the second largest grocery company in New Zealand (behind Foodstuffs), with revenue of NZ$6.2 billion for the year to June 2018. Alongside Foodstuffs, Woolworths NZ forms part of the New Zealand supermarket duopoly.

Progressive Enterprises Limited was once owned by the Western Australian Supermarket Group FAL - Foodland Associated Limited which operated Action Supermarkets, Supa Valu Supermarkets and Dewsons Supermarkets. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Australia's Woolworths Limited.


  • 1948: Progressive Enterprises was established in 1949 by the Picot family.[1]
  • 1961: Progressive Enterprises became the parent company to Foodtown Supermarkets Limited.
  • 1974: Albert Gubay opens the first 3Guys store. Progressive Enterprises purchased the chain in 1987, and rebranded or closed them throughout the 1990s with the store in Hillcrest, Hamilton being one of the last when it closed in January 1998.
  • 1988: Progressive Enterprises became part of Australian business Coles Myer
  • 1992: Coles Myer relaunched Progressive Enterprises onto the New Zealand stock exchange as a public company.

On 25 May 2005, it was announced that Woolworths Limited, one of Australia's largest retailers, would be purchasing Progressive Enterprises along with 22 Action stores in Australia. The deal was worth approximately NZ$2.5 billion and culminated in the official transfer of assets on 24 November 2005.

In 2006, company workers at three distribution centres initiated industrial action in an attempt to win a collective employment agreement and pay rise.[2] The company responded by suspending grocery distribution centre operations and allowing suppliers to send stock directly to supermarkets.[3]

Also in 2006, the company was awarded the Roger Award For The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in New Zealand.

On 15 August 2007, it was announced that all Progressive Enterprises employees on youth rates or under the age of 18 will now all get paid adult rates which in some cases can be up to an 80% pay increase. The average pay is around $13.50 from $9.00.

In August 2011, Progressive Enterprises won a prestigious NZ Marketing award.[4] In June 2018, Progressive Enterprise Limited renamed to Woolworths NZ.

Store brands[edit]

Entrance to a Fresh Choice supermarket

Woolworths NZ runs the following grocery store chains:

  • Countdown: 184 supermarket stores
  • SuperValue: 40 stores - convenience supermarket stores, run as a franchise
  • FreshChoice: 30 stores - Higher quality supermarket with a large range, run as a franchise

It operates online grocery shopping in the name of Countdown.[5]

The Foodtown brand was phased out in early 2012.[6]

Former operations[edit]

Product brands[edit]

  • Countdown
  • Freefrom
  • Macro
  • Essentials
  • The Odd Bunch

Former product brands[edit]

  • Signature Range
  • Naytura
  • FreshZone
  • Basics
  • No Frills
  • Woolworths Select
  • Home Brand

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kiwi supermarket, education leader dies". Stuff.co.nz. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  2. ^ Business & Money
  3. ^ Business & Money
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 September 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Countdown Online Shopping
  6. ^ "Foodtown, Woolworths brands on way out". The New Zealand Herald. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2011.

External links[edit]