Four Square (supermarket)
Four Square supermarket in Katikati
|Headquarters||Auckland, New Zealand|
Number of locations
The household name Four Square emerged in the 1920s out of the Foodstuffs grocery buying co-operative. Foodstuffs’ founder, Mr J Heaton Barker, became concerned at the activities of the grocery chain stores of the day that were making life very difficult for independent grocers in Auckland. On 6 July 1922, Heaton Barker called together members of the Auckland Master Grocers Association and discussed their plans for forming a cooperative buying group of independent grocers. On 1 April 1925, this buying group registered a company called Foodstuffs Ltd, which was the first of three regional cooperatives based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The name Four Square emerged when Mr Barker, while talking on the telephone to one of the buying group members on 4 July 1924, drew a square around the 4 of the date on his calendar. He immediately realised he had a suitable name for the buying group, stating that "they would stand ’Four Square’ to all the winds that blew". By the end of 1924 products were appearing under the Four Square name, and by 1929, discussions were underway on the use of a common branding on stores. Early versions of the Four Square sign were produced in the form of red and gold hand painted glass panels for display in members’ stores. In February 1948, New Zealand's first self-service grocery store was opened in Onehunga by Phil Barker (the son of the founder of the group) and Ray McGregor. This soon became the norm for grocery retailing.
The Four Square was named after Barker on 4 July 1924, after drawing a square around the 4 on the calendar which he then stated, "they would stand 'Four Square' to all the winds that blew."
Their symbol, "Mr 4 Square" also known as "Cheeky Charlie", was developed in the 1950s. The image is often closely associated with the art of New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell, who has used the iconic character in many of his works.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Four Square supermarkets.|
|This food and/or confectionery corporation or company-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|