Year 6, Book 87

87. The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America by Marc Levinson
This book examines the rise of The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company and all it’s future iterations as the long time largest chain store in America. It also looks at all the ways that some people and the government attempted to fight against chain stores in favor of small businesses. I found this really interesting as this is something that seems to have been a constant battle in Baltimore in recent years. It always seemed like somewhat of a recent issue, but in fact it’s a fight that has literally been going on for a century. I am also interested in A&P’s fate in light of Steve Jobs’ death last night. A&P was long run by the same two brothers, one of whom was the real visionary of the company and lead the company through all the many changes that occurred during his running of the company for many decades. After his death there was no one to step in and fill that vacuum. The company because reactionary instead of proactive and the people at the top became intrenched in trying to maintain their current status quo instead of changing to meet the times. With Apple’s success largely due to Jobs’ visionary leadership, I do think it will be interesting to watch and see if they wind up succumbing to the same fate. I give it a 7 out of 10.

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