The Evolution of the grocery store
I remember going to the grocery store with my mom when I was a little boy, how times of changed. The evolution of the grocery store is just another example of how our economy is changing, and how important it is for people to realize that they have to learn new skills and evolve with the “new economy”.
How does all this relate to the “new economy”? Well, stick with me because although the grocery stores history may not be a super interesting topic to most people, it is a prime example of how the economy has changed in the past hundred years and what the future might look like.
Grocery stores like pacific tea company or great Atlantic got their start in the mid-1800s along with many other small regional grocery stores. These grocery stores were very small and tended to focus on one aspect of food retail such as “dry grocery” items, where they would sell canned goods or other nonperishable items. Produce vendors and butchers were completely separate stores, but most of the stores tended to cluster together for the customer’s convenience.
Piggly Wiggly stores of Memphis were arguably the first self-service shopping in America. This was the first time in American history where the customer could actually walk into the store, take a product off-the-shelf and then go to the counter and pay.
The self-service tile store was quickly followed up by the chain store explosion that happened in the early 1920s. Small regional change such as Kroger or national tea, started to rapidly expand their service area, some such as A&P even on national scale, operating over 10,000 stores across the United States by the end of the 20s. Most of the stores still did not offer butchers or produce departments and some still offered delivery services and charge accounts, but times were changing fast and most had abandoned these practices.