The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America

The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America

Book - 2011
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From modest beginnings as a tea shop in New York, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company became the largest retailer in the world. It was a juggernaut, the first retailer to sell 1 billion dollars in goods, the owner of nearly sixteen thousand stores and dozens of factories and warehouses. But its explosive growth made it a mortal threat to hundreds of thousands of mom-and-pop grocery stores. Main Street fought back tooth and nail, enlisting the state and federal governments to stop price discounting, tax chain stores, and require manufacturers to sell to mom and pop at the same prices granted to giant retailers. In a remarkable court case, the federal government pressed criminal charges against the Great A&P for selling food too cheaply -- and won. The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America is the story of a stunningly successful company that forever changed how Americans shop and what Americans eat. It is a brilliant business history, the story of how George and John Hartford took over their father's business and reshaped it again and again, turning it into a vertically integrated behemoth that paved the way for every big-box retailer to come. George demanded a rock-solid balance sheet; John was the marketer-entrepreneur who led A&P through seven decades of rapid changes. Together, they built the modern consumer economy by turning the archaic retail industry into a highly efficient system for distributing food at low cost. - Publisher.
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780809095438
Branch Call Number: 381.45641 L5789g 2011
Characteristics: 358 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm


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Sep 14, 2015

This is a crucially important book in understanding why there exists a Walmart today, and how the Walton family could royally screw everything up, even though it is about A&P. The author brilliantly covers how the chain store empire, battling against the likes of the great populist from Texas, Rep. Wright Patman, was able to vanquish the small business model, paving the way for future Walmarts, Amazons, et cetera, ad nauseum!!!
Sadly for both America's future and Mr. Patman, the unions sold us out, as they would again and again [the devil will one day sup with Richard Trumka et al.] - - with the only real and honest unions today being the nurses' unions and the Longshore Union. [There has been only one biography written on Wright Patman by a trivializing rightwinger - - strongly recommend against wasting one's time reading it!] Great complementary book to read concurrent with this is Brad Stone's book, The Everything Store!


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