|Chapter 1:||The Chain Store Historically Considered|
Table 1.1 Chain Store Entrance, 1900–1910
|1900||D. Pender Grocery Co., Hook Drugs, Daniel Reeves (acquired by Safeway),Dockum Drug Stores (now with REXALL Drugs)|
|1901||United Cigar Stores, H. L. Green (originally F&W), Grand-Silver, Lane Bryant, L. Duckwall, Walgreen|
|1902||J.C. Penney, Schulz Brothers|
|1905||Peoples Drug Stores|
|1906||W. T. Grant Co|
|1907||Louis K. Liggett, Mading’s Drug Stores, Fisher Brothers|
|1908||A. S. Beck, Katz & Besthoff (now Rite Aid)|
|1909||Western Auto Supply, Gallaher Drug, Hested Stores|
Source : Lebhar (1952) with author’s updates.
The first decade of the 20th century appears to be the threshold for the development of the chain store. Godfrey Lebhar’s excellent reference of chain stores provides a snapshot of successful chain entrance of that decade. See Table 1.1.
The rapid growth of chain stores during the early 20th century speaks to their popularity with consumers. It also speaks to some inherent economic benefit in operating chain stores. The most likely explanation for the rise in chain stores was the presence of economies of scale. The quaint language of one of the first chroniclers of chain stores provides a noneconomic explanation: “In buying, the chain store undoubtedly enjoys whatever advantage inheres in the factor of quantity” (Nichols, 1940, p. 100). He further explains: