It has been a busy winter for Countdown in Northland and the activity is continuing with the official opening of its new Dargaville store this week.
The store, which opened on Tuesday morning and employs 82 people, gave employment to another 22 people after getting in touch with Work and Income.
The company employs more than 550 people in the region.
The 3500sq m store on Victoria St is 50 per cent larger than the Countdown it is replacing.
The old building, which is next door, will be removed at the end of September with the site resealed to create a larger carpark.
The new store has wider aisles, an expansive fresh produce department and energy efficient fittings and equipment.
It also features a new layout for clothing and kitchenware merchandise, a full-service bakery that bakes fresh food daily, service deli and seafood department.
If you asked the team at the new Dargaville Countdown what its point of difference was, the answer might surprise you. Yes, there is a friendly staff and a flash new store, but it also has a mural painted by the community and children of Dargaville Intermediate School.
Diamond Frangipani is the name of the 24-metre mural designed by 20 students, family and community members.
Store manager Craig Unsworth said the new supermarket offered Dargaville customers an improved shopping experience with a wider range of products.
Countdown managing director Dave Chambers said the company was pleased to support further job creation in the local community. "We're a very proud employer of more than 550 people in Northland, and it's great to provide an opportunity for new team members to join our business and start great careers in retail with us."
The store was officially opened by Kaipara District Council commissioner John Robertson. Elsewhere in Northland, Paihia still has the luxury of having two Countdown stores, as the central shop on Williams Rd opened earlier this month .
Countdown also opened a new store at Regent in Whangarei in June, just metres across from rivals New World and replacing the Kensington store.