Thursday, August 13, 2015

The A & P: Yesterday and today

Filmed at the Iowa City A&P in the 1940s. 

If nothing else, watch the 1st two minutes -- just to see the cash register tally.  I remember this method of checking out, although the machines had a more modern look to them.

Print headlineA & P Bankruptcy Means New York, Chain's Birthrate, Will Lose Last Store.  (The New York Times, 8/1/2015)
Founded in 1859 as a mail-order tea business, A&P evolved into a discount food retailer that operated 16,000 stores by the mid-1930s and remained a dominant player in America’s grocery landscape into the second half of the century.

“It was truly a powerhouse,” said Marc Levinson, an independent historian and the author of “The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America.” “In those days, independent grocers were every bit as afraid of A&P as mom-and-pop retailers are today of Walmart.”

The A&P in Warren PA remained in business until the late 1960s.  The four-story, downtown brick building in which it was located (apartments on the upper stories) was razed during the 1970s as part of a redevelopment project.  The basement housed a 4-lane bowling alley, still not automated when it closed in 1962.

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