100 YEARS OF FOOD RETAILING
The first issue of Progressive Grocer was published in January 1922, a time when the grocery industry operated in ways that would be unrecognizable to today’s shoppers. It was also a time when major changes were happening in American society, including where and how people purchased food. This resulted in a great transformation in grocery that saw retailers adopt new business practices, new technologies and new methods of serving shoppers that seemed revolutionary at the time, but are taken for granted now.
The grocery industry was at a turning point, and as is often the case in situations when an industry is born or arrives at a critical juncture, there isn’t a precise date that the industry can point to and say, “That’s when it all began.” That said, the debut of PG is as good a place as any to serve as a reference point. Food retailing existed prior to the publication’s arrival, of course, but the roots of the industry as we know it today were establishing themselves during the early 1920s. World War I had ended a few years earlier, the Great Depression wouldn’t begin for several more years, and grocery was beginning to change in profound ways.