Value of Design Award

RCG ltd 17 4 Square

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Andy Florkowski
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Sarah Paul, John Lenihan, David Gordon, Ryan Ward, Tomas Cottle, Caleb Spierings
  • Client
    Foodstuffs North Island Limited
Judge's comments:

I think they've taken a brand that was sort of staving off irrelevance and they've transformed it and really meet the growing and increased expectations of how people shop.

At a pure experience level, it's fresh. It's nostalgic, it's magic as soon as you see it. It flows through the experience of pulling products off the shelf, it's lovable, quintessentially us.

It was a tough job to pull this off. There were a lot of people involved, a lot of different disciplines, not just graphic design, but wayfinding, architectural, retail. A huge multidisciplinary team, a big investment but it’s really paid off for them.


4Square is one of New Zealand’s most recognized brands. It has been a cornerstone of local communities since the 1920’s and is one of the largest locally owned store networks in NZ.
Foodstuffs approached us with a very direct brief – to refresh the brand and elevate the store experience to support changing consumer behaviors, the changing community needs, and reinject the 4Square DNA which has been diluted over time. The design needed to be accessible for all members, so this would support more consistent and positive outcomes. The goal was to both increase revenue, but also customer loyalty.

•A targeted research phase revealed the store qualities that are valued by customers and non-customers. It identified range, environmental and service considerations which were able to guide a design process. A cross-pollination of Spatial, Graphic and Grocery disciplines allowed ideas to be freely exchanged and ensured that the customer feedback was addressed by experts across the business.

•Qualitative turnover data allowed us to spatially plan the store considering growth categories. Particularly, made-to-go product and fresh goods. Further economic and demographic data allowed the range of each store to be tailored to the local community. This was also important through the design process; the team could create a kit of parts which could flex and retract with the data available.

•A 3D/VR model was created and edited in real-time. This allowed all disciplines to engage in a fluid design process which continually tested iterations and enabled feedback from all stakeholders.

•A new store model was created that supports solidifying the positioning of 4Square in the market, focusing on convenience/fresh-to-go product for differentiation (and as a response to the local catchments), whilst still offering the staples of a larger supermarket. The design of this entry experience and category is markedly different from other grocery experiences. This model revision has significantly contributed to a huge YTD xx.x% increase in fresh/convenience sales, and overall sales growth of x.x%.

•The customer feedback called for a stronger connection to the original warmth and personality of the 4SQ brand. The reintroduction of raw timbers, the saturated brand colorway and the playful 4Square visual language has contributed to a more intensive store experience. This contributed to a xx% increase in customer satisfaction in regards to store presentation at the 2022 Canstar awards.

•The store model was designed as a modular kit of parts – which can be scaled to suit the budget, catchment and community. This ensured that the design qualities can be embedded across the entire network. The design has been applied as a $xxxx facelift to a store, and has also been imbedded within a newbuild $xxxx store (32 stores currently undertaking elements of design). The design is incredibly accessible no matter their budget or location.

•The new store model increases the product display by xx% within the same footprint, whilst also reducing visual clutter.

•4Square won the 2022 Canstar award (xx%) for most satisfied customers, the first time in its history – beating all other retailers.