1970s: The Fall of Four Square Stores
January 21, 2019
Four Square marketing ‘mad men’ were driving it hard into the home with this jigsaw puzzle. Literally placing a picture of their product line into a game you get to play! Our products are your toys in your homes.
Four Square Stores jigsaw puzzle box cover showing many Four Square grocery product lines – “An interesting game for children of all ages. Fully interlocking – 140 pieces”.- Alexander Turnbull Library
I applaud their brilliant marketing conquest! You’re getting brand recognition lodged in your brain on one Lattice while being entertained in another mental Lattice! “On this rock I will build my church,” the Foursquare Guy said.
How can they go broke hitching their brand to hearth and home? This worked very well for generations but then something happened that nobody counted on. A new generation arose for whom that domestic attachment did not measure up.
How Foursquare Did Go Broke Hitching Their Brand to Hearth and Home
The Boomers (yes, them again)! They clovest Foursquare Guy’s rock a’twain! Their energy was put toward themselves, individually, rising in the world, without collective ambition. They themselves, not their family; Not their own parents, not even their own children. The branding was lost on them. Coming of age in the 1970s coincided with the rise of the supermarket and the death of the old Foursquares. Specialist departments died out. Specific green grocer and butchers and bakeries and fishmongers, once common specialities in every New Zealand town, withered. The new supermarkets were self-service: Customers just walk isles and tracks loading into a wheeled trolly. Shopping became an unromantic and un-communal drive-through business rather than part of our social fabric.
When malls like New Lynn, Auckland, came along, it was a game changer for our culture.
See also Killing the Kiwi Villiage, here.
See also same old marketing thing with another Four Square game, ‘Happy Families‘
Image ref. New Lynn exterior, 1963; Lance; Flicker
Image ref. New Lynn supermarket, ibid