Allied Farmers, Small Businesses, and Woodrow Wilson: The Early Days of Economic Localism – This is the second chapter of a work in progress currently titled Anti-Chain Store to Small Mart Revolution: Economic Localism in Modern America for publication by Blooming Twig Books in late 2017 or 2018. It will be the first of a multi-volume series to be called Localism in American Life.
In 1924 a booklet appeared with the ominous title The Menace of the Chain Store. Little longer than a short story, anonymous, and published not by a major house, but by an Indianapolis ad agency The Millis Advertising Company, The Menace of the Chains started with the assertion that chain stores were here to stay. From there the writer assumed that a menace actually existed and moved quickly to a self-serving solution. The answer was aggressive advertising by the brands so that consumers would demand them despite higher prices than the chains’ discount private brands.