Red Circle & Gold Leaf

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As the world's largest grocer, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. sells one out of every seven cups of coffee in the U.S., one out of every 14 pounds of butter, and one out of every 28 eggs. Of every dollar the U.S. spends on food, about 10¢ is passed over A & P counters—a massive yearly total of $2.9 billion. Next to General Motors, the A & P sells more goods than any other company in the world.

In 3,100 U.S. cities, the familiar red-front A & P store is the...

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