A&P: The Story of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company by Avis H. AndersonIn 1859, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, known everywhere as A&P, began as a mail-order business located at 31 Vesey Street in downtown Manhattan. In 1925, A&P operated more than thirteen thousand grocery stores nationwide, with more than forty thousand employees. By 1950, approximately ten cents out of every dollar spent on food in the United States passed over A&P counters. A&P: The Story of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company tells the story of how cofounder George Huntington Hartford and his sons John and George brought A&P to a popularity with consumers that few companies have ever achieved. This stunning collection of vintage photographs shows such nostalgic scenes as the elegant early stores, their gleaming window displays, and the red horse-drawn delivery wagons with the A&P logo emblazoned on their sides. Shoppers choose from rows of colorful merchandise and fresh produce; uniformed storekeepers make change from ornate registers; and the founders son tastes A&Ps Eight OClock coffee. A&P is still an industry leader, and A&P: The Story of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company shows why, from the Hartford familys legacy to the generations of shoppers who depend on A&P for fair prices and quality food. This is the history of the supermarket where America grew up shopping.
WHY DID A&P FAIL By Brian Herbert
#69 Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea
In , it operated almost stores. After World War I , it added stores that offered meat and produce, while expanding manufacturing. In , it adopted the self-serve supermarket concept and opened 4, larger stores while phasing out many of its smaller units by In , it hired outside management, closed older stores, and built modern ones. The plan also closed manufacturing operations except coffee production.
Industry analysts believe the grocer's demise can be attributed to its misguided focus and its inability to evolve with the changing market. This led the business to be overrun by competitors like Whole Foods and Kroger that appealed more to customers whose interests have shifted in the past years to include organic and healthy food. People are also starting to gravitate more towards specialized stores. Large grocers with so many different products can be looked at as overwhelming, even an annoyance, to some consumers. With many consumers seeking product curation, the typical shopping experience has changed.
And it revolutionized how retailers operated, pioneering the practice of store branded products and paving the way for retailers to dictate low prices from manufacturers and sell in the volume necessary to remain profitable, creating the template for companies like Walmart to follow. The firm was originally a leather business, called Gilman and Company, until when he entered the tea business and hired two brothers, George Huntington Hartford and John Soren Hartford, though John died in George Gilman renamed the firm the Great American Tea Company around and started a massive advertising campaign, buying ads in newspapers, and listing his low prices, upending a tea market where prices had been negotiated ad hoc between wholesalers and retailers. Almost everything offered in grocery stores, from flour to pickles, was purchased by the shop keeper in bulk and sold from barrels or canisters, with the store clerk measuring out the quantity the customer desired. With his branded tea, George Gilman was once again on the leading edge of a revolution in marketing. In , Gilman introduced premiums with his products, first chromolithographs mass produced color pictures which then became common among many other stores, followed by coupons and trading cards that could be collected for china or glassware, that became a staple of food store marketing for a century. In , Gilman passed management to George Hartford, and passed away in
Industry Food Markets. - Initially a mail-order operation, it began opening retail stores in the s. By its stores extended as far west as St.
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The company announced in early that it was exploring the sale of its Kohl's chain in Wisconsin. The company also manufactures and distributes coffee under the brand names Eight O' Clock, Bokar, and Royale--though this business too was up for sale in Using Gilman's connections as an established grocer and the son of a wealthy shipowner, Hartford purchased coffee and tea from clipper ships on the waterfront docks of New York City. By eliminating brokers, Hartford and Gilman were able to sell their wares at "cargo prices. But the enterprise proved so successful that Hartford and Gilman opened a series of stores under the name Great American Tea Company.