A&P Logo

A&P LogoA&P Logo PNG

A&P was a U.S. grocery supermarket chain that went bankrupt in 2015, with a chain of stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Meaning and History

A&P Logo History

What is A&P?

A major U.S. grocery retailer whose heyday was in the 1915s and 1975s. One of the first grocery supermarkets in the country. It ceased to exist in 2015.

The company’s full name sounds rather grandiose, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. But this level the firm reached under the management of J. Harford and his sons (1878-1917), who created a network of 16,000 stores. And in 1859, the story began with the sale of tea and coffee by mail order (Gilman & Company), then George Gilman’s 70 stores (Great American Tea Co.). The firm got its present name in 1970, gradually moving from selling tea to a wide range of products.

Despite four updates in 150 years, the A&P logo is fairly constant and concise. It’s two letters with an ampersand on a rounded background.

1859 – 1900

A&P Logo 1859

The company’s first logo consisted of a monogram representing the Pacific (P) and the Atlantic (A). It showed that the scope of the company’s activities extended from one to the other ocean, i.e., across the United States. The round black background symbolized constant steady turnover, coverage of new territories through expansion of the radius, and movement on all fronts.

1900 – 1976

A&P Logo 1900

The founder of the company passed away. Until then, Hartford had run A&P under a partnership agreement. He had purchased the chain and turned the business over to his sons six years later at age 74.

The new management wanted to bring a note of freshness to the logo. The gloomy black background was removed, replacing it with a bright and eye-catching red. It conveyed the idea of large-scale development and distribution and the desire for importance (the Hartford Brothers had grown from their father’s 1600 store chain to 16,000 outlets, taking the lead among U.S. stores and starting the conquest of Canada).

A round red sign was visible, encouraging customers to stop by.

1976 – 2006

A&P Logo 1976

By the 1970s, A&P had many more modern competitors, and stores were losing customers. So in 1975, the owners brought in outside specialists (Booz Allen Hamilton) and updated the stores. This gave a temporary boost.

The management rebranded it. The visual sign expanded the color scheme, got rid of the circle, a symbol of completeness, and got the idea of movement.

The new emblem is a triple oval (red, orange, yellow) with the same lettering but in a modern font. The figures were arranged one after the other, consistently moving forward: orange is further than red, and yellow is further than orange. The composition symbolized the renewal of the network:

  • A passing past with an aggressive distribution policy (red).
  • The renovation of the network’s premises has become friendlier and closer to customers (orange).
  • New stores with Family Mart pharmacies (yellow).

Ampersand changed slightly and resembled a half-opened teapot, with steam coming out. It created a homely feel and was a tribute to the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company name.

The company referred to the visual sign as a “sunrise.” But the change for the better was short-lived. So Hartward’s descendants sold a stake in the company to Germany’s Tengelmann Group, specializing in retail (1981).

2006 – 2009

A&P Logo 2006

Brief improvements with the new owner ended in decline. Hoping to save the brand, the Tengelmann Group (38.5%) shared ownership of the chain with Yucaipa (27.5%). The arrival of a major shareholder was reflected in the logo.

The sunrise idea was set aside. The logo was reduced to a single red oval, a symbol of a burning desire to stay afloat and move forward. However, the saturation of color was lowered, reflecting the sell-off of assets, the reduction in the number of stores nationwide, and the shift from number one in the U.S. to number 28.

2009 – 2015

A&P Logo

In 2009, the visual mark was updated after the sale of the entire Canadian business. The logo reverted to its former round shape, hoping to replicate the heyday experienced by the Hartford family. The reduction in diameter symbolized the reduction in the number of stores. But the rich red color demonstrated the concentration of strength for the future “leap.”

However, in the country came the economic downturn, and instead of developing, A&P went bankrupt after a year (in 2010). A further change of ownership and a small movement culminated in a second bankruptcy in 2015. All stores were closed and sold.

Font and Colors of the Emblem

A&P Emblem

Throughout history, the firm has stuck to the basic classic combinations:

  • White and black. White sugar and black tea. Honest “white” prices without big markups and a wide selection of products worldwide. A powerful, reliable company.
  • White and red. The combination was like a road sign. In the interpretation of supermarkets, he reported: “Attention, fresh and safe products.” Love for your work. Rapid development.

The first variations of the typeface used very interesting trefoil-shaped decorations on the ends of the letters. They resembled the Christian cross and foreshadowed the company’s existence for centuries, as they were considered to mark the past, the present, and the future. Another interpretation of the three semicircles is the sides of the world. The United States is washed by three oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Arctic. Two of them are crossed by ships bringing tea, coffee, and other products for the company’s stores.

A&P Symbol

Over time, the logo font became more modern. It resembled the Banda Nova XBold with unusual protrusions to the left side, indicating the company’s essential past and symbolizing a trail of forwarding motion.