Working in collaboration with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission), Countdown’s main store signage and self-service checkouts now have te reo available as a language option for customers, allowing them to complete the checkout process in Māori if they so choose.
Countdown’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, says that with 3 million customers through its stores each week, Countdown has a fantastic opportunity to introduce te reo into everyday conversations and activities – including going to the supermarket.
A few things, like product names and team intervention points such as ID checks for age restricted products will remain in English, but everything else in the supermarket will be in te Reo.
“Not only can te reo speakers now complete their shopping in their own language, but we can use our scale and reach to help ensure te reo is revitalised and used for generations to come”, says Hannifin.“We have bilingual signage in our stores, te reo greetings in our customer communications and the te reo names on the packaging of all of our fresh fish products – adding te reo to our SCOs is an exciting next step”.
Hannifin says the project wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance and support of Te Taura Whiri, connecting the team with the people that could help then achieve this outcome.
Currently, there is an audio greeting and farewell in te reo with further audio to be added to the system over the coming months so that eventually, customers will see and hear te reo throughout the checkout process too.
While using the Te Reo Māori function is entirely optional, we’d encourage customers in our stores to give it a go when they next complete their shop,” Hannifin says.