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We Are Market Basket by Grant Welker, Daniel Korschun

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2

“They Caught the Supermarket Revolution”

In the early twentieth century, shopping was, to say the least, inconvenient. It was not uncommon for a household to purchase dairy, meats, and produce from three different stores. Each of the specialty stores was heavy on service, with most of the food behind the counter.

But in the 1940s and 1950s, a new type of grocery operation emerged: the supermarket. Industry analysts today classify supermarkets mainly by the number of stock-keeping units (SKUs) they carry; each SKU refers to a different variety of a product. For example, each brand of toothpaste has a variety of flavors or package sizes, each with its own SKU code. Supermarkets carry anywhere between fifteen and sixty thousand SKUs. To put this ...

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