The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company was founded by George Huntington Hartford (1833- 1917) in 1859 together with George Gilman. The company was originally based in Elmira, New York. It was first named The American Tea Company, but in 1969 it was changed to its current name to distinguish it from its competitors.
The company’s approach to running its stores, a set-up that allowed cost cutting and a regimented lay out, brought them to total sales of $437 million in 1925. In the early 1930s, they were earning total revenues of $1 billion. By the 1950s, A&P was already the dominating company in the area of food retailing. Because of this domination, talks of breaking up the A&P Company arose which were the result of several anti-predatory pricing bills that were passed in Congress. These bills aimed to prevent companies, such as A&P, from monopolizing the food industry. This led A&P’s leaders, then George Ludlum Hartford and John Augustine Hartford, to express their opinions through an interview which was published in Time magazine on November of 1950.
The year 1960 marked the decline of A&P. The company became less aggressive and began losing market share year after year. Because of this, they were overthrown from the top position in the food industry, as they were exceeded by other companies. This downhill trend continued in the succeeding years until they hit their lowest point when the company filed for bankruptcy on December 12, 2010. They stated that a weak economy and competition was the reason for the filing of bankruptcy.
Before bankruptcy, despite their downhill trend, A&P remained on the list of the top companies in the United States. They were able to create several banners which are still patronized by a big portion of America’s populace. They were even able to create their own private labels.
Headquarters: Montvale, New Jersey
A public company
No. of Stores: more than 395 stores
Annual Revenue: $9.5 Billion ( Fiscal Year Ending 2009)
No. of Employees: 45, 000 (as of 2010)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
Demography: value shoppers, organic shoppers, price shoppers
Special Services: gourmet, private labels, liquors, discount goods
The Food Emporium
America’s Choice Healthy Kids
America’s Choice Gold
Live Better Wellness