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Minimal quake damage at supermarket distribution centres

Wednesday 23rd February 2011

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The Christchurch earthquake had minimal impact on supermarket distribution centres, but store operations are being affected by damage to stock and stores and by staff availability.

Around noon, Countdown Supermarkets said its stores in Rangiora and in the Christchurch suburbs of Kaiapoi and Hornby were operating with skeleton staff and had significant stock damage.

Countdown stores in the suburbs of Avonhead, Northlands and Northwood were expected to open later today.

Stores had significant stock damage, and some stock had also been lost due to refrigeration and power outages, while fittings and fixtures had been damaged in stores, some of which were damaged structurally, Countdown said.

The impact on its two distribution centres in Hornby had been minimal but the facilities were operating on skeleton staff.

Luke Schepen, spokesman for Progressive Enterprises which owns the Countdown stores, said transport links were also looking good, with the main issue being to ensure teams were available to support the distribution centres and stores.

"The big thing now is looking at what stock is damaged, getting a good idea of what stock is needed, and we will be working through that today," he said.

Extra supplies of basic needs, such as water, were being arranged.

All other Countdown stores and online shopping services in the area remained closed and online shopping services in the Christchurch area remained suspended until further notice.

Additional supplies of essential items were being organised for stores in the affected area.

Foodstuffs, which operates New World and Pak 'n Save supermarkets and Four Square stores, said there had been no significant damage to its distribution centres in Hornby and Papanui, but operations would be affected by staff availability, transportation issues, and the impact of aftershocks.

General manager wholesale operations and procurement John Mullins said trucks were moving and deliveries were good.

Around mid-morning eight New World stores were open, as were two Pak 'n Save stores, and all Four Square stores except in Lyttelton.



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