Marketing: Semi-Converted

For nearly a decade, the bitterest holdout against the rush to retail trading stamps was the nation's biggest grocery chain, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Only last March did A. & P. reluctantly get into the game with Plaid stamps. Last week, at the company's annual meeting, President Ralph W. Burger, who two years ago condemned the stamps as a "drag on civilization," conceded that they may be good for business.

With the stamp plan now in operation in half its 4,409 stores, A. & P. is currently ringing up its biggest sales ever; in the three...

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