Grocery shopping is on almost everyone’s weekly list. For many households, that means driving to the supermarket, or an even larger discount mega-store, and loading our carts to the brim with our favorite brands. But grocery shopping wasn’t always this way. A century ago, small mom-and-pop grocers dotted street corners, staffed by storekeepers who packaged bulk items for customers they knew by name. Today, the retail landscape continues to change, as more of us go online for a variety of purchases.
In his book, The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America, Marc Levinson offers an insightful look at the history of the grocery business by chronicling the rise and fall of what was once the world’s largest retailer. It’s a story that has special resonance in Boise, Idaho, the birthplace and home of Albertsons, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States.
Marc Levinson is a former finance and economics editor of The Economist in London, a former business reporter for Time and Newsweek and the author of a number of other books including The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Bigger.