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The Four Square, which was rebuilt following significant earthquake damage, reopened in 2015 as a New World. But due to the changing shopping habits of the community, and in spite of the best efforts of the team, it proved unsustainable as a New World and the store moved to the Four Square banner in June 2020.
Tim Donaldson, general manager retail, Foodstuffs South Island, said the Foodstuffs business is an owner-operator model, where each individual store is run by an owner who is personally vested in the store and the community.
He says this model requires every New World and Four Square to be financially viable as a standalone business. Due to the challenges associated with attracting customers back to the Redcliffs store following the earthquakes, Foodstuffs South Island purchased and managed the store with a view to rebuilding the turnover.
Store management is considered an unusual move for the co-operative and not one that is sustainable for the long-term, Donaldson said.
"It simply wouldn’t be fair to ask an owner to take on a business which has obvious questions around its sustainability and financial viability.
"We hoped by moving to the Four Square brand, which has a different costing model, we might have been able to turn the financials around and keep the store open for the community – unfortunately even with the changes made the turnover is simply not there.”
"After careful thought and consideration, we have come to this difficult decision” says Donaldson.
"Our focus is on the 12 full time and nine part time team members who are impacted by this decision. We are working through the planned closure with them. We want to make sure each team member is fully supported and assisted – this is an extremely difficult time for the team who have worked tirelessly to try and make Four Square Redcliffs a success. They are our priority right now.”
Donaldson said the outcome may be difficult for some of the community.
“It will be an adjustment for the loyal customers who have done their best to stand by and support the store over the years. We really wish the store’s turnover had been able to be increased enabling it to be a viable business, but sadly it just hasn’t been possible. We would like to thank our loyal Redcliffs customers for supporting the store over the last 20 years – it’s always a sad day to close a store and we very much wish things had turned out differently.”
Foodstuffs South Island is looking at alternative options for the use of the building following closure, which may include selling or leasing the site.