The veritable A & P chain, which in 1930 had operated sixteen thousand grocery stores and was the nation's largest retail chain, was in decline by the 1950s. It had been bumped out of the number one retailer spot by Sears Roebuck and Company, with its store count having been reduced to four thousand five hundred.

Although it has been opined that the A & P chain was slow in establishing suburban stores during the 1950s, the chain WAS forward-thinking enough to locate its supermarkets in several of the nation's earliest shopping malls. Checking through the web pages of the MALL HALL OF FAME, we can see that A & P was a junior anchor at America's very first mall (Seattle's NORTHGATE CENTER). There were also A & P stores in the following centers;

*THE MALL, St. Matthews, KY (1962)
*NORTHWAY MALL, Allegheny County, PA (1962)
[store opened as part of the McKNIGHT SHOPPING CENTER in 1953]
*GLEN BURNIE MALL, Anne Arundel County, MD (1964)

A & P's mall store lead was quickly followed by its major competitors across the Forty-eight States. Primary examples were as follows...