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Making Scientific Merchandizing Pay.
Some of the methods that have been used to develop the 21 Owl Drug Stores on the Pacific coast into an organization doing an annual business of $5,000,000 were described by A. J. Neve at a meeting of A. D. S. department heads and salesmen held in New York City recently. Mr. Neve is a merchandise expert in the employ of the Owl Stores and spoke, in part, as follows:
We do not believe in poorly paid help. To get the most efficient service from employees, they must be paid a good living wage, sufficient to support themselves or those depending upon them with reasonable comfort, without worry.
For an hour once a week we get together with our employees and talk over with them ways and means of improving their salesmanship and raising the percentage of their sales per customer.
Through this system of education in merchandising efficiency we have increased the average sale per cus: tomer from 40 cents a few years ago to 471/2 cents this year.
The sales of our sundries department which formerly represented but 12 per cent of our total business now represents 22 per cent.
If handled efficiently the sundry department of a drug store can be made one of the most profitable departments of that store. The druggist's sundry is one of the easiest things to sell, because it can be so readily worked in as a running mate with so many medicinal preparations.
Every Owl employee is drilled to sell running mates with every sale. To facilitate this we have all goods in the same line grouped together.
In front of the dentifrices we keep tooth brushes, silk floss, etc. In front of the hair revivers, we keep shampoo preparations, combs, hair brushes, etc. So in every one of our departments.
When a customer asks for one item, the clerk can get its appropriate running mate in a second without leaving the customer and begin a canvass for its sale. Druggists who keep goods in the same line scattered about their stores-hair restorers on one side-shampoos on another-combs and brushes on another-miss a good deal of business it would be possible for them to get with a proper grouping of their goods.
Perfumery and toilet preparations to be easily sold should be displayed on stands and cartons, where they can be readily seen and their inviting message carried to the customer.
A good part of the department stores' success with toilet preparations is due to the fact that they lavishly display them, while many druggists have them hidden away in closets and make no display or only a halfhearted display of them. Displays have always helped the Owl Company, and I would advise every druggist to make them.
Every Owl store is a public service station. We spend $1000 a year to check parcels for customers free
of charge. I do not know of a better way the Owl company could spend the same amount of money.
Think what a convenience it is for a man or woman to know that he or she can leave a bag or parcel in one of our stores without charge, while they visit in the neighborhood. For women customers who need any little attention, we employ maids to look after them.
What is more natural than for the man or woman Owl Company when returning for the bag or parcel? who has been so favored to buy something from the We get back that $1000 a dozen times over.
If a customer comes in for a 4-ounce bottle to put something in at home we give it to the customer for nothing. Invariably that customer wants that bottle to hold a specimen of urine or for some similar need.
Next day when the customer has a prescription to fill for the trouble in question or other sick needs, isn't it more than likely that this customer-remembering our free bottle—will come to us for what is wanted ?
When a customer calls for eye water, our sales people are instructed to present an eye dropper with the compliments of the Owl Company.
Courtesy and service have paid the Owl Company big dividends, and it will pay any other druggist who practices them proportionately the same big dividends.
Our employees must always say "Thank you" to every customer who buys anything of the Owl Company-even a postage-stamp.
Courtesy of this kind costs nothing and is a tremendous big factor in good-will building.
Instead of cutting prices we have found it more profitable to have combination sales.
With a bottle of hair restorer we give free a bamboo shampoo comb. This comb in quantity lots cost us less than 2 cents each. We sell the hair restorer for 25 cents. This means that after deducting the price of the comb, we get 23 cents for the restorer-only two cents less than the regular price. We sold many times more of the restorer at this price-on the strength of the pulling power of that shampoo comb—than we had previously sold of the restorer at 19 cents special.
With a nail polisher selling at 25 cents, regular price, we offered a combination file and cutter costing us about 2 cents. This made a dozen times more sales than when we cut the price of the nail polisher to 19 cents.
When we offer a small powder cloth costing us 3 cents, with a 50-cent package of complexion powder, it draws more sales than if we were to reduce the price of the complexion powder to 39 cents.
I could enumerate dozens of combinations like these that have made good and convinced us that as a business builder and revenue producer, the combination free offer is a more profitable propostion than cut prices ever were.
A retail store in the western part of the country, according to the Dayton News, has had a neatly printed message placed upon the wrapping paper and paper bags which it uses, modestly worded, pleasantly phrased and delightfully frank. It appears under the heading "Thank You,” and reads:
"We take pleasure in thanking you for your patronage; we believe the goods bought of us to-day will give you entire satisfaction and that you will come to us again when you need anything in our line. However, if for any reason you are not perfectly satisfied with your purchase we ask as a favor that you report to us at once, and we assure you that we will gladly adjust the matter to your satisfaction. We want you to make this store your store, and if you trade here we shall make it our business to see that whatever you buy is entirely satisfactory."
take care of your Xmas purchases until you are ready for them. J.ast but not least, WE CAN SAVE YOU MONEY. A comparison of prices will convince you.
Again inviting you to visit our Christmas Display, and wish. ing you A Merry Xmas and A Happy New Year, we beg to remain,
FRANK D. Kriebs.
Soliciting Christmas Business.
During the latter part of last November, Frank D. Kriebs, Beresford, South Dakota, sent a circular-letter
Mr. Kriebs says that he had the printing done at a local shop, and that he bought the envelopes at his post office—thus side-stepping the licking of a thousand stamps. The total expense, last year, was between $20 and $25, but would doubtless be more this year.
Supplementing this means of publicity, Mr. Kriebs ran full-page ads in the local weekly papers. A Specimen Opening Announcement.
Druggists who contemplate opening new stores and who are in doubt as how best to inform the public of the event, will be interested in the opening announcement employed last spring by Atkinson's Pharmacy, of Drew, Mississippi.
The announcement was printed in blue ink on a
You are cordially invited to attend the opening of our
New Drug Store Wednesday, May Seventeenth, Nineteen hundred and sixteen
good quality white card measuring 3 by 5 inches. Enclosed in an unsealed envelope the card may be mailed under one-cent postage; but much more attention will be attracted to both the announcement and the store, of course, if sealed envelopes and two-cent stamps are used. Timely Remembrance.
A neat Christmas and New Year's card is being sent out this year by G. Bastian, Jr., Hoboken, New Jersey
soliciting Christmas business to 1000 selected names. Attractive stationery was used and the text was printed in typewriter characters.
Here is the letter in full: DEAR FRIENDS:
As the happiest season of the year is approaching, we take this means of extending to you Christmas Greeting and invite you, your children and your friends to call at inspect the greatest Christmas exposition of Holiday Goods ever displayed in Beresford.
No matter how old or how young the girls and boys may be, we can supply the gifts that will make them glad on Christmas.
We have playthings, fancy goods and "practical” gifts. No matter how hard you may be wondering what on earth to buy you can find an answer to your question here.
We have made an extraordinary effort this year to surpass any of our previous displays. Our line of Cut Glass is more beautiful than ever-'atest cuts and shapes. Our hand-painted China eclipses any of our previous efforts. Fancy Nut Sets, Olive Sets, Celery Sets, Bowls and Plates, Cups and Saucers, etc., etc.
Fancy Goods in Leather, Wood, Silver and Parisian Ivory. Toilet Sets, Manicure Sets, Military Sets, Brush Sets and Nov. elties—all priced to suit your purse.
Books, latest copyright popular copyrights, books for boys and girls, Bibles, fancy gift books and toy books.
Toys-the greatest line you ever saw is ready in our store for your Christmas buying Toys from everywhere. Dolls, all the latest character, kid bodies, dressed and china limb dolls.
Games and Blocks-an endless variety to select from. Wooden Toys.
Candies and Xmas Trees, in fact our line is larger and better than ever. We have spent more time than ever before to gather together this beautiful display of Holiday Gifts. Being unable to enumerate to you our entire line, we particularly invite you at this time to call, bring in the children and let them get the benefit of our full display.
Everything is marked in plain figures and we have a compe. tent corps of clerks to wait upon you. Ample storage room to
For use at the dispensing counter, a writer in the Pharmaceutical Journal, of England, offers the following suggestions:
Any one who has made ointment of zinc oxide by the orthodox method knows the difficulty in getting it free from lumps, and the constant stirring that is required after well rubbing down the oxide in a warm mortar with some of the melted lard. The following method in the writer's estimation cannot be beaten.
Loosely tie one, or perhaps two, thicknesses of fine muslin over the top of the stock-pot. Upon it place the quantity of oxide required to make the ointment. Heat the lard in an ordinary evaporating dish, and get some one to pour it slowly on to the powder while you stir the mixture briskly, taking care not to spill the hot fat. In two or three minutes all the powder has been rubbed through in a minute state of subdivision, and it only remains to give the ointment an occasional stir till it is cold. It is wise not to overload the muslin with too much powder, and in making 4 pounds of ointment it may be divided into two portions.
There is another method of rubbing down small lumps which is not so well known as it might be. Often a small quantity of ointment is ordered containing ammoniated mercury or a similar hard or gritty substance. Rubbing on the slab will eventually eliminate lumps, but at the expense of much time as well as elbow grease. Get a stout piece of muslin, about 12 inches square, and transfer the ointment to the center of it. Bring the four corners together, and starting at the top twist them round and round tightly till the ointment is enclosed in a small bag. Then by aid of a knife press it out through the muslin, which will effectually reduce all grittiness, and act as a fine strainer.
Small lots of powders often require sifting, and the usual sifter is much too big to deal with them. The following "tip" was given to the writer in his apprentice days: Take a 4-ounce chip box and carefully remove the bottom so as not to injure the sides. Then remove the top of the lid, leaving a narrow band of wood. Spread fine muslin over the larger band and fasten it down by pressing over it the smaller band. Another lid can then be used for a cover, and a makeshift sieve is then ready which can be shaken till all the powder is through.
Hardly in the nature of a makeshift, although bordering on it, is a method of mixing any light powder with water, such as light magnesium carbonate or Gregory powder. If the powder is simply placed on the top of the liquid, it may be stirred for a considerable time before diffusion takes place. The better way is to place the powder on the liquid and then place a piece of paper or glass over the vessel, placing the palm of the hand over the whole. Give this a sharp up-and-down movement, and the powder will be found to be perfectly mixed. This method works admirably when a customer wishes to take a dose of compound rhubarb powder from an ordinary measure or medicine tumbler.
Conserving Drug Stocks.
How a little care in the handling of drugs and chemicals will result in the saving of many easily deteriorated products was the subject of a paper presented to the 1916 meeting of the Kentucky Pharmaceutical Association by William E. Danhauer, of Owensboro. Among the points brought out by Mr. Danhauer were the following:
A prescription is received for a small quantity of a seldom-used powdered extract, and upon withdrawing the cork the contents of the bottle are found to have become a hard, solid mass. By digging industriously we may weigh the required amount (of a doubtful strength), and possibly break a spatula or lose our temper during the operation.
.The powdered extract may be kept in better condition by sealing the cork with melted paraffin, and the only apparatus necessary for the operation is a tin ointment box, a retort stand and a Bunsen burner or spirit lamp. The first thought that enters one's mind would be that it is a waste of time to seal the cork after using the drug, but on the other hand, there is also a loss of time and material in digging out a hardened powdered extract.
Among the many articles that it would be advantageous to seal with paraffin besides the powdered extracts are the solid extracts of belladonna, nux vomica, and stramonium. In fact all of the solid extracts, as also inspissated oxgall, should be so treated, thus keeping the powdered extracts dry, and the solid extracts in the moist state, as required by the United States Pharmacopoeia.
Fluidextract of ergot will remain active longer than usual if the cork is kept sealed.
To retard evaporation, seal the stoppers in the bottles or cans of chloroform, ether, and all of the collodions. The list of chemicals that should be sealed is a long
Some of them are deliquescent, others are volatile, while some undergo chemical changes when they are not kept well corked, but all of them should be sealed with paraffin when stored on the shelves. Only a few chemicals are herein mentioned, and the reasons for sealing them are obvious: ammonium carbonate, ammonium iodide, chromic acid, trichloracetic acid, zinc chloride, calcium hypophosphite, sodium nitrite, sodium 1odide, strontium iodide, benzoic acid, alphozone, and acetozonc.
The animal products are all more or less unstable, therefore they should be kept sealed and also in a cool place. Included among them are pepsin, pancreatin, corpora lutea, desiccated thyroid glands, and thyroid tablets.
In every drug store aving a soda fountain the syrups used at the fountain are kept cold, and the same care should be given to the pharmaceutical syrups. If one has not a special refrigerator for the storing of serums and vaccines, they may be placed in the cold chest of the fountain, and in a similar way should be kept syrup of ipecac, syrup of ipecac and opium, syrup of wild cherry, syrup of squill, and syrup of squill compound.
Solution of citrate of magnesia, lactis bulgaricus tablets and tubes, glycerin suppositories, and all rectal,
vaginal and urethral suppositories should be kept in a cool place. Likewise aromatic spirit of ammonia, spirit of nitrous ether, spirit of ether compound, and it is well to note that the corks should be well sealed to avoid evaporation or chemical changes.
The following extracts are taken from a paper read at the 1916 meeting of the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Association by John K. Thum, of Philadelphia :
The Pharmacopæia (Eighth Revision) contains 17 medicated waters, of which 6 are made from volatile oils, and 5 of these by triturating the volatile oil with purified talc, gradually adding the required amount of distilled water and filtering. Medicated waters made in this manner are very unsatisfactory; for the first few days they show up fairly well, but from then on they rapidly change for the worse, so far as appearance and pleasant flavor obtain.
Now the Pharmacopæia does not insist that these waters must be made according to this procedure, as the following quotation from it clearly indicates :
The Medicated Waters, when prepared from volatile oils, are intended to be, as nearly as practicable, saturated solu. tions which must be clear, and free from solid impurities. In the processes which follow, the solution of the volatile oil is facilitated by the use of purified talc; but the solution may, if preferred, be aided by replacing the purified talc by pulped or shredded filter paper; waters may also be made by the addition of volatile oils to hot water and separation of the excess of the former, or by the distillation of the drug or the volatile oil with water, if by either of these methods the finished product corresponds in all respects with the official requirements.
The calculation of percentages for solutions has become a problem to pharmacists that bids fair to turn confusion into worse confounding with the advent of the metric system, according to the N. A. R. D. Journal. At the present time five methods of calculation are in vogue, and it is therefore high time that a uniform system be adopted, at least one that will apply to the compounding department. The differences arise from the opinions held by some as to what system to use, and in the fact that there are so many systems of weights and measures.
One system employs the avoirdupois ounce, 437.5 grains, as a basis; another, the fluidounce, 455.6 grains; a third, the troy ounce, 480 grains; a fourth, the metric system; a fifth, the absolutely accurate normal system used in research and test work. While all are approximately the same when used for small quantities, the variation becomes pronounced when the quantities reach 1 pound or more.
The basis for all calculations in the preparation of percentage solutions in the pharmacy should be weight in measure, the Auidounce being calculated as 480 minims, not as 455.6 grains for water and various weights for other solvents. The reason for this is that all official liquid medicines, tinctures and the like, are made on that basis; physicians prescribe on that basis; and the pharmacist compounds on that basis. If this fact is remembered, there will never be any trouble, and confusion will be turned into ready and simple practicability.
No pharmacist is asked, except in rare instances, to make percentage solutions by weight, although that is the mathematically correct system. When a physician prescribes four ounces of a two-per-cent solution of silver nitrate, he expects to get four fluidounces by measure, and also he expects a mixture or solution in which each fiftieth part of the volume represents one part of silver nitrate.
To make such a solution is a simple matter: 4 fluidounces equal 1920 minims; 2 per cent of 1920 is 38.4; therefore, 38.4 grains of silver nitrate are dissolved in enough distilled water to make 4 fluidounces.
This is simple and practical, and the "parts by weight” method, in comparison, is much more cumbersome, as may be seen from an illustration, using the same nitrate of silver solution: Four fluidounces of water weigh 1822.4 grains (455.6X4). Two per cent of 1822.4 is 36.4 grains. Now dissolving these 36.4 grains in enough water to make 4 fluidounces by weight, one must employ 1786 grains of water. This gives 1822.4 grains of two-per-cent solution. If this is satisfactory, well and good; but this will not measure a full four fluidounces either by weight or measure. It is over 21 minims less than 4 fluidounces, hence another calculation must be made for the difference. The difference is less when the metric system is employed.
In 1913 the writer presented a paper in which he advocated the making of camphor water by agitating small pieces of camphor with distilled water in a bottle and replenishing the dispensing bottle by pouring through a piece of gauze tied over the neck of the stock bottle. He is still wedded to that method of making camphor water. Success with this method naturally led to experiments with the other medicated waters and it was found that fine waters, that remain clear indefinitely, can be made by simply agitating the volatile oils with distilled water and filtering through a wetted filter paper in the same manner that the Pharmacopæia suggests in the making of bitter almond and creosote water.
The technique for this method of making medicated waters is very simple and is as follows: Eight mils of volatile oil are poured into a four-litre bottle and distilled water added in portions, the bottle being vigorously shaken after the addition of each portion; susficient distilled water is then added to make up to four litres.
When the dispensing bottle requires replenishing the stock container is well shaken and the medicated water filtered through a filter paper.
Since making our medicated waters in this manner we have never been troubled by the development of fungi or the growth of other microorganisms. This is certainly an advantage that the practical pharmacist can appreciate as well as the fact that his medicated waters are always clear and sightly.
The saturation of these waters can easily be determined. If to an equal amount of water a 50-percent solution of magnesium sulphate is added, there is at once developed a distinct cloudiness.
Willie: “What are captains of industry, dad?”
Crabshaw: "They are fellows who cause wars but never fight them."--Life.
Information is given in this department under the following conditions only: (1) No queries are answered by mail; (2) queries must reach us before the 15th of the month to be answered in the BULLETIN of the month following: (3) inquirers must in every instance be regular subscribers; and (4) names and addresses must be affixed to all communications.
Rouge-Lip and Liquid. E. R. asks: "Will you print a formula for a rouge lip salve? I would also like some information concerning liquid rouge. I am making one at present from dry carmine, but so much sediment settles out that the product is not satisfactory. How can I overcome the difficulty ? Liquid carmine produces a tint that does not suit my trade."
Here are three formulas for lip salve taken from the literature:
A Eutectic Mixture. J. N. K. writes: "A short time ago I was called upon to compound the following: Euquinine
.0.1 gramme. Benzonaphthol
..0.15 granime. Salol
...0.20 gramme. Make one powder. Send six.
"Upon triturating these powders in a mortar, the mixture assumed an oily aspect. To determine the trouble I rubbed together benzonaphthol with salol, euquinine with benzonaphthol, and euquinine with salol. I found that the incompatible mixture was that of salol with euquinine. Is the incompatibility physical, pharmaceutical, or chemical?”
The incompatibility is a physical one, probably due to the formation of a eutectic mixture. When phenols or phenolic compounds, aldehyde compounds and ketonic bodies are mixed, the mixture may have a melting point considerably below that of any of the individual ingredients. This is analogous to the alloys, and the term eutectic applies specifically to the proportions which will produce the lowest melting point. A familiar example of a eutectic mixture is that of camphor with menthol
To dispense a prescription of this sort several methods may be followed. If the eutectic mixture is liquid it is not, of course, suitable for powders, but should be made into a mass and dispensed in capsules.
When the resulting mixture is only damp or pasty, the addition of dry starch or (wherever compatible) magnesia will absorb the moisture and allow of dispensing in powders. Starch which has been dried at 100° C. and kept in tightly-stoppered bottles has considerable absorptive power and is much more efficient than air-dry starch.
It is also well to avoid rubbing such mixtures together. Mix lightly and liquefaction is less likely to
Sometimes the order of mixing makes a material difference, but usually starch or some other absorbent powder is needed.
40 parts. Lard (pure and fresh)
.80 parts. White wax
.20 parts. Oil of sweet almond.
.5 to 10 parts. Melt the ingredients together (varying the amount of sweet almond oil according to the period of the year) and then color the mixture with a sufficient quantity of alkanet by digesting the root with the melted mass. Strain and add a suitable perfume, such as oil of bergamot, 2 parts, oil of orange, 3 parts. The mass is then poured into molds or tin tubes and, when cold, removed and covered with tinfoil. (2) Spermaceti
1 ounce. Yellow wax
14 ounce. Oil of almond.
2 ounces. Oil of rose..
12 drops. Melt with gentle heat, add enough alkanet root to color, then strain; and finally add the oil of rose. (3) Paraffin
..enough to color.
Cochineal color (liquor cocci N. F.) is sometimes sold as liquid rouge. A true liquid rouge may be prepared by dissolving pure rouge (carthamine) in alcohol, and acidulating the solution with acetic acid.
A Coal-tar Disinfectant and a Salt-water Soap.
D. O. writes: “I would like a formula for a coal-tar disinfectant in the manufacture of which sodium hydroxide is used. I would also like to be supplied with a formula for a soap that can be used with salt water."
A coal-tar disinfectant in the manufacture of which caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) is used may be made as follows: Five and one-half pounds of caustic soda are put in a kettle, about 19 gallons of common water added, and these are from time to time stirred until solution results. The kettle containing the caustic soda solution is put on a small fire, heated, and 30 pounds of rosin added in small quantities; the heating and boiling is continued until all the rosin is dissolved. In about two hours a clear rosin soap, weighing about 451/2 pounds, is obtained. The rosin soap, while still hot, is at once strained through cheese-cloth into another container, and 60 pounds of creosote oil containing 20 to 25 per cent of cresols is added and thoroughly mixed. One thus obtains saponified coal-tar creosote. After it has been strained again through cheese-cloth, if necessary, it is ready for use.
Soap-making, while theoretically a simple procedure,
A liquid rouge colored with eosin is made according to the following formula :
4 parts. Distilled water
80 parts. Glycerin
.400 parts. Spirit (free from fusel oil) Dissolve; allow to stand, and filter.
The proportion of eosin may be increased or diminished, or modified with aniline orange.