About

About the Blog

Abandoned A&P Supermarket in Belvidere, New Jersey, 2019.
Established in November 2017, A&P Preservation features A&P-owned stores throughout the 20th and 21st century through employee anecdotes, marketing materials from the company, and most important, photos that showcase the unique styling and formats of A&P stores. While A&P Preservation was originally a full-fledged blog with near-daily posts, today it lives on as a social media presence by sharing the same photos and stories as it would on the blog. However, the website is still up with all previous posts, the rapidly-growing store map, online apparel and accessory store, and the bountiful amount of resources that have been collected over the years.
About A&P

Classic A&P Store in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1960.
A&P itself was a pioneer of the modern-day supermarket, and many trends for the retail industry along the way. With its inception in 1859, A&P (originally called the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company) used a “high-quantity/low-price” format to sell tea to the American public at a much lower cost than competitors at the time. On paper, it looks risky: a retailer buys excessive amounts of product for its shop so it can receive a lower price from the distributor, and therefore sell it for less to the customer. However, there is one major flaw: what if the product does not sell? This issue can easily be solved by rigorous marketing, trading jabs with your competitors, and making it accessible for everyone. A&P was able to do all of these by 1930 with a peak of just over 16,000 stores. Does the above sound familiar? Retail giant Wal-Mart uses this same strategy today, and is often labeled the “Sam Walton way,” although A&P was the first to use this rule-breaking strategy nearly a century before Walton even opened his first 5&10 variety store in Arkansas. Some other trends A&P set along the way were grocery pickup/delivery, self-service grocery stores (in terms of aisles and cases), and the emphasis of a “Fresh Wing” in supermarkets in the late 1980s with the Futurestore concept: where 1/3 or more of the store would be dedicated to an exponentially larger produce department, delicatessen, in-store bakery, and butcher. While A&P pioneered this concept in the 80s, it became wildly popular with competitors after the 90s that led to the large supermarkets of today.
About the Author
Prior to starting A&P Preservation, I was still wildly interested in retail design and history. I first started chatting on other retail blogs like Acme Style all the way back in 2011, which took a look at another old-but-still-surviving supermarket chain, Philadelphia-based ACME Markets. Still-alive A&P at the time was not too much of interest to me, but I still admired the impact they had made on the retail industry as a whole. However, I began researching more about A&P in 2015 as the lights went out at 300 of their locations by the winter, and nearly 30,000 employees out of a job-- some of those being at my nearest A&P in Clinton, New Jersey. I visited the store again after closing during the shelving/fixture sale.

Front-end at the A&P Supermarket in Clinton, New Jersey, 2015.
I then started A&P Preservation two years later in November 2017, and since then become well-versed on not only the A&P company and its stores, but also retail strategies, design, and everything from the ground up. Nowadays, in addition to preserving the A&P company here at A&P Preservation, I also enjoy urban exploration, dead malls, and taking thousands of photos for Google Maps, which you can view here. I often share some photos from those content areas on Facebook as well, so keep an eye out for it!


A look at the neon-packed Phillipsburg Mall in Pohatcong-Lopatcong Townships, New Jersey, 2019.
If you ever have any questions, comments, interesting stories, or photos to share, feel free to contact me in the following ways: