A new $2.5 million Four Square has officially opened its doors in Onehunga, Auckland. Owned and operated by local business-woman Alex Gage-Brown, the store is the latest “4.0” format of the brand that’s been around for 99 years.
The 4.0 stores being rolled out across the country showcase the new Four Square brand identity, a contemporary store layout designed for convenience and ease, premium local partnerships, self-service checkouts, and food-to-go options. All new Four Square stores offer the same core items, with specific products tailored to the community they serve.
Four Square Onehunga will offer barista-made Flight coffee and baked goods from Daily Bread. Customers can also find classic Kiwi favourites such as meat pies, hot chicken & chips, and quick meal options for those with busy schedules.
Gage-Brown says the latest Four Square is perfect for Onehunga today, and the range of groceries reflects what they know locals will want to shop for. “Four Square is one of the country’s longest-standing brands but it’s developing some of the coolest new stores for local communities.”
“We’ve been chatting to locals about what they’d like to see in store to make sure we’ve got what they need when we open, and we plan to keep talking to the community about what they want us to stock.”
Foodstuffs North Island is a 100% New Zealand owned co-operative of local grocery retailers. Each grocer owns and operates a New World, PAK’nSAVE or Four Square store in their community.
Four Square Onehunga is the seventh new site opening for the co-operative this year, following the opening of a new $46 million PAK’nSAVE for Warkworth in June.
Although this will be her first time owning a store, Gage-Brown is no stranger to the Foodstuffs co-operative family, or the world of business. After an early career in start-ups, she went on to become the general manager of an FMCG company. After that business sold in 2020, it created the perfect segway into the grocery trade – with Gage-Brown spending a year in Four Square Russell, before helping open Four Square St Heliers and completing the Four Square Owner Operator training programme.
Gage-Brown says the ownership pathway with Foodstuffs has always been something that really interested her. “I had a few conversations with other local owner operators before spending time in a New World and falling in love with the industry.”
“I’m excited to be opening my first store in Onehunga. It’s a community I feel a strong connection to, having grown up in One Tree Hill and attending primary school in the area.”
She’s joined in store by husband Will, who has recently stepped aside as a teacher at Saint Kentigern College (finished in the July school holidays), and their two kids Cooper and Tilly – forming a family of grocers.
Head of Four Square for Foodstuffs North Island, David Gordon says the newly built Four Square in Onehunga is an example of how the co-operative and its members invest for the long-term in New Zealand communities.
“Foodstuffs North Island invests around $100 million every year into construction and refurbishment of property across our North Island stores, supply chain network, and support centres. Since the start of this financial year, we’ve already invested significantly, and we have many new stores and refurbishments in the pipeline.”
“Our stores are individually owned and operated – so while projects like this have significant investment from Foodstuffs North Island, the local owner operator also invests into the store fitout.”
Located in a 300 sqm stand-alone building at 310 Onehunga Mall, the new Four Square will support the growing Onehunga community. The suburb has been designated a priority location by Eke Panuku, Auckland Council’s development arm, with nearly $70 million earmarked for upgrading infrastructure and public spaces.
Four Square Onehunga follows a raft of new Four Square store openings for Foodstuffs North Island recently, including Four Square Te Kowhai in May, Four Square Eden Terrace in January, Four Square Remuera in December 2022, and Four Square Wainui Road in November 2022, with more planned to open in 2023.
“Four Square Onehunga will give customers a local shopping experience and offer range of products that’s right up there with the best grocery stores in New Zealand and overseas. We’re pleased to welcome Alex and her family as the newest members of our co-operative,” says Gordon.
Four Square Onehunga by the numbers:
• $2.5 million investment
• 12 new roles created, with team members all from the local area
• 300 sqm building
• 10 carparks
• 2 self-checkouts
• 3 operator checkouts
• 6 aisles