Supermarket Countdown has secured a site at the Commercial Bay shopping and commercial precinct in downtown Auckland.
The supermarket will open its first of a planned string of smaller-format stores at the bottom of the PwC tower in December. The store, which will focus on the needs of the city-centre customer, will have kombucha and cold brew coffee on tap, a barista for takeaway coffee and offer food-to-go options.
Brett Ashley, Countdown general manager of operations, said the Countdown Metro concept was designed with the Auckland CBD customer in mind.
Research conducted by the supermarket operator found that 70 per cent of the people surveyed in the CBD wanted to access fresh fruit and vegetables more easily in the city.
More than 70 per cent of people said they wanted more snack options and 65 per cent wanted hot lunch meals to takeaway.
"Customer needs and trends are constantly changing," Ashley said.
"In New Zealand we're used to a supermarket that you visit two or three times a week, but what we're building with this store is somewhere you can visit throughout the day and week for a range of needs."
Metro Albert Street would be set out so the barista and breakfast and snack options would be closest to the door. It will also sell pantry essentials, he said.
Precinct Properties chief executive Scott Pritchard said Countdown Metro was "another exciting addition" to the development happening in Auckland's city centre.
"The new Metro store is going to be a great amenity for the 10,000 office workers within the Commercial Bay precinct," Pritchard said. "We've been looking for a fresh food and grocery offer to compliment the food and beverage at Commercial Bay and we're excited about what Metro will offer."
Commercial Bay is running more than a year behind its original plans. The shops were due to open last November, then September this year, but H&M is so far the only retailer operating there. Countdown Metro will be the second store to trade on the site.
The retail portion of the development is now scheduled to open in March.
In May, Precinct Properties said its high profile Commercial Bay development being built by Fletcher Building would now take even longer and cost more.
The total cost for the redevelopment of the former downtown shopping centre at the bottom of Auckland's Queen Street will now be $690-to-$700 million, versus its February forecast of $690 million.