The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company grocery advertisement of May 18, 1931. There were four neighborhood locations listed for A & P in Ypsilanti that year, they were:
30 E. Cross St.
35 N. Huron St.
115 W. Michigan Ave.
103 N. Washington St.
Grocery stores, starting in the 1920's were forming into “chain store” type organizations as a way of maximizing their purchasing power, thus lowering prices to their customers and driving mom and pop stores into oblivion. These chain stores were also the beginning of the “self service” style of shopping we have today. No more walking up to the counter and ordering a clerk to put together your order for you. You now began to pick the shelves yourself, comparing prices, reading the labels to see what was the better value. Credit was also going away as a matter of general business. If you didn't have t the silver quarter to pay, you didn't get that loaf of Grandmothers Bread and 2 pounds of green beans. No “tick” with most chain stores.
Oh by the way, gas in the late 20's was about 10 cents a gallon or ten gallons for 99 cents. (9.9 cents a gallon) Which is where and why we still have the archaic 9/10 cent pricing structure at the gas pump. Thank goodness we don't have to pump the gas into the “tower” to dispense it into our cars gas tank. Phew, too much work!