Becoming an owner

Our Brands

Our Foodstuffs South Island co-operative is made up of nearly 200 individually owned businesses, operating under our loved and trusted retail brands – PAK’nSAVE, New World, Four Square, Raeward Fresh and On the Spot.

The success of our co-op is built on the talents and hard work of our people, and the strong leadership of our owner operator members. Our owner operators work at the heart of local communities, providing grocery essentials, employment opportunities and community support throughout the South Island.

The information on this page relates to the ownership pathway for our PAK’nSAVE, New World, Four Square or Raeward Fresh brands.

For information about On the Spot or Liquorland ownership please click on the links at the bottom of the page.

Becoming an Owner

Our owner operators have the privilege to feed our South Island communities and positively impact the lives of our customers every day. It’s a responsibility we take seriously, which means we have high expectations and seek out the best of the best when identifying and selecting our future owner operators.

Fortunately, no one in our co-op takes this on alone – when you become an owner operator member of our co-operative, you also gain access to a support network of experienced local grocers and passionate Foodstuffs employees, who all play a part in contributing to your success.

If you are up for the challenge of owning a dynamic business, and you are excited about the opportunity to have a positive impact on our communities, then the ownership pathway at Foodstuffs South Island might be for you.

Full financial disclosure
Full financial disclosure
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Full financial disclosure

As part of the application and during your time as an owner operator, FSSI will have full visibility of your personal financial situation. Owning a store within the Co-op is really a partnership and financial transparency helps ensures the best outcomes for all parties.
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You should understand that locations and availability of stores cannot be pre-determined. If you’re interested in operating a New World or PAK’nSAVE store you must be prepared to move anywhere within the South Island. Being flexible in this way, will allow you to make the most of opportunities as and when they arise, and it ensures all South Island communities benefit from the commitment of highly capable owner operators.
Full time, best endeavours
Full time, best endeavours
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Full time, best endeavours

You will be expected to be fully involved with the day-to-day operations of your store, as your primary place of work. Our co-op isn’t the place for ‘absent owner operators’ as a committed and present Owner will always drive better outcomes for their business, their people, and their customers.

Paramount Principles

We are successful as a co-op because our owner operators work in the best interest of the co-op and the future generations of grocers to come. This is articulated in our ‘paramount principles’:

  • The co-op is an organisation of independent Grocers owning and operating their own business and working together for their mutual benefit and the benefit of the co-op.
  • The co-op is the guardian of the co-op Principles and has the responsibility to preserve, protect, perpetuate, and promote the co-op and its assets for the mutual benefit of the shareholders and future shareholders.
  • Shareholders are caretakers of the co-op and its assets. They have a responsibility to hand them on, to enable future generations of independent Grocers to trade cooperatively, just as those that have gone before, have enabled them to trade.

Pathway to Ownership

The pathway to Ownership has two key phases:

  • Phase 1 – Owner Operator Development Pipeline
  • Phase 2 – Endorsement for Ownership

Whether you are interested in owning a Four Square, Raeward Fresh, New World or PAK’nSAVE, when you initially apply, you are applying to enter the Owner Operator Development Pipeline.

There are a set number of spaces available in the pipeline for each retail brand. Therefore, entry to the pipeline is governed by the availability of space within the pipeline, and also your readiness/suitability for the pipeline.

To gauge your readiness, we have a set of criteria that can be found in the pre-application checklist.

You should use this checklist to assess your suitability and readiness to apply. If you still have gaps against the criteria, you now have some clear goals to achieve before talking to us about applying.

In particular, this will be the case if you haven’t worked in the Grocery Retail industry before. Having the right experience is essential for being a successful Owner Operator and as such, our recommendation will always be for you to find an in-store role to build your experience before you apply. And, preferably, this role would be in a Foodstuffs branded store.

If you feel like you meet all the criteria, then you’ll be ready to get in touch for an informal, pre-application interview with a member of the Foodstuffs South Island leadership team.

Informal, Pre-Application Interview

This is your opportunity to have an informal interview with a member in the FSSI Retail team and discuss the expectations and reality of being an Owner Operator in our co-op. It is also the chance to review your achievement of the pre-requisites. This discussion allows you and Foodstuffs to get to know each other and understand if the timing is right for an application.

If you are ready to have a chat about applying please email [email protected] and tell us which type of store you are interested in owning


If the timing is right, the FSSI Retail leader you meet with will arrange for an application link to be emailed to you. The application process comprises an online questionnaire, a police check, credit/finance check, psychometric assessment, and reference interview.

The information gathered during this process, along with the pre-application Interview will inform the decision about your entry to the Owner Operator Development Pipeline.

Phase 1 - Development Pipeline

If your application is successful, the owner operator Development Pipeline is where you will spend the majority of your time. During this stage, you will complete additional cognitive assessments and take part in development discussions, with the view to creating a personalised development plan.

The time in the pipeline (potentially 18 to 36 months) is critical, as it gives you the opportunity to keep building your knowledge, skill set, and network, so that you are in the best possible position to be successful during the Endorsement for Ownership phase.

Once you can demonstrate that the required progress has been made and your development plan has been satisfactorily completed, you will remain in the pipeline until you are invited to move into the Endorsement for Ownership stage.

Phase 2 - Endorsement for Ownership

The Endorsement for Ownership phase is where the decision about a candidate becoming an Owner is made. It consists of a series of assessments and interviews that allow our Senior Leadership team and Board to get to know the candidate and ultimately make a decision on ownership.

It is possible for a candidate to be declined at any of the stages within the Endorsement for Ownership phase.

Approved Applicants

If you are successful and are endorsed for store ownership, then you become an Approved Applicant.

As an Approved Applicant you will have the ability to apply to purchase a store when one becomes available. During this time, you will continue to be supported and given opportunities to get yourself ready for the day you get the keys to your first store.