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

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The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America book summary
How did big US chain stores get that way? It’s as simple as A&P.


8 Overall

7 Importance

8 Innovation

7 Style


Economist and historian Marc Levinson documents how New York’s Hartford family turned a mid-19th century tea shop into the $1 billion Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), changed US retailing, invented chain marketing and – then – ultimately let A&P wither and die. Levinson’s well-researched, detailed account explores how the Hartfords’ innovative marketing strategies sparked a national revolt against chain stores. getAbstract suggests his opus to students of economics and marketing, especially those young enough to have never shopped in an A&P.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company grew from a small New York tea shop into a $1 billion business,
  • How it overcame political opposition to chain stores and
  • How the success of chain stores altered small business.


George Gilman and the Hartford Family
Around 1860, George Francis Gilman opened a New York City tea shop, working with George Huntington Hartford. They formed a secret partnership and, by 1863, the Great American Tea Company had five retail shops and launched large-scale advertising, which...
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About the Author

Marc Levinson, former finance and economics editor of The Economist, wrote The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger.

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