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social. Here are the five cardinal points as EDITORIAL
outlined in the report:
1. A properly regulated system of price maintenance
on identified merchandise made and sold under comA SIGNIFICANT REPORT.
petitive conditions puts the emphasis in competition The board of directors of the Chamber of
upon quality and service, while at the same time it proCommerce of the United States appointed a
vides for the public adequate protection against extor
tion. special committee comprising ten members to
2. Price maintenance under these conditions preinvestigate the soundness of the principles
serves the social advantage of an adequate incentive to underlying the maintenance of retail prices and invent and devise new products. the advisability of legislation at the present 3. Price maintenance under these conditions serves time looking to that end. The report of the to prevent monopolistic control of production processes different groups of this committee covers some- by powerful distributers. thing like nineteen printed pages, and there are
4. Price maintenance under these conditions preseventy-five pages of supplementary matter.
serves the 'social advantages of such distribution conSeven members favor legislation permitting
veniences as are represented by neighborhood stores and
by small, but skilful merchants. In some trades, it is price maintenance. However, inasmuch as the
the sole guarantee of the preservation of the accepted report was not unanimous, the Chamber has
system of distribution; for instance, it assures the decided to submit it to a referendum. The re
preservation of the book stores as individual enterprises. sult will be awaited with unusual interest.
If the social value of such factors as these is less than Three members of the committee submitted their economic cost they are not worth preserving. But a minority report, these being Frank H. Arm- who is ready at this time to encourage their annihilastrong, of Chicago, a wholesale grocer, presi- tion? It is noteworthy that the agitation in favor of dent of Reid, Murdock & Company; Frederick
restoring to producers the control of resale prices H. Rike, of Dayton, president of the Rike
originated with the small, independent retailers, and Kumler Department Store and president of the
that most of the opposition to it comes from the large Greater Dayton Association; and Percy S.
and powerful concerns.
5. The right of the producer to set resale prices is Straus, of New York, of R. H. Macy & Com
an accepted principle of business law. It has been pany, and president of the New York Retail
restricted recently in this country by close decisions of Dry Goods Association.
the Supreme Court, none of which was decided on the The minority members are “unable to ap- basis of general principle alone. The committee believes prove of the principle of price maintenance that in the long run the public interest will be best as being in the public interest," and they rec- served by legislation specially permitting this method of ommend that no legislation on the subject be
doing business in identified articles made and sold under enacted at this time.
competitive conditions. Those signing the majority report were
It would seem that to the average merchant George M. Courts, of Galveston, Texas, formerly president of the National Association of
the most significant statement contained in the Stationers; James F. Finneran, of Boston,
entire document is that relating to the preserpresident of the Woodward Drug Company,
vation of small or neighborhood stores. "It and a well-known leader in the N. A. R. D.;
(price maintenance) is the sole guarantee of Henry B. Joy, of Detroit, president of the
the preservation of the accepted system of disPackard Motor Company; Paul H. Nystrom,
tribution, for instance, it assures the preservaof New York, a retailing expert; F. H.
tion of book stores as individual enterprises." Whitcher, of Boston, president of the Ameri
In other words, if the conclusions of seven can Shoe Tip Company; Edward S. Rogers, of
of the men composing the committee of ten are Chicago, a lawyer and a copyright and trade- sound, either we must have price maintenance mark authority; and Professor Paul T. Cher- or our present system of retail merchandising ington, of the Harvard Graduate School of will gradually crumble away; and in the Business Administration, chairman of the com- crumbling process the small dealer will be mittee.
ground to atoms. The conclusions of the majority of the com- At any rate, this opinion comes from too mittee are that the advantages of price main- high a source to be ignored, or even to be tenance would be partly economic and partly lightly considered.
A BOOK ON RETAILING.
mitted must be taken by a camera sold by a The literature of merchandising is grad- druggist. The contest closes July 1. ually becoming more pretentious. The "Eco- Why not grasp this opportunity? Why not nomics of Retailing" is a new book just gotten
call up customers to whom cameras have been
sold and ask them to bring in specimens of out by Paul H. Nystrom, Ph.D. The publish
their work? ers are the Ronald Press Co., 20 Vesey Street,
Such a request will touch a New York, and the price is $2.00 post-paid.
responsive chord, we feel sure. Amateur Professor Nystrom has written a very inter
"fiends” will appreciate this little act of couresting book. Much of the same material has
tesy and evidence of interest, and will at least
call at the store to talk the matter over. appeared in fugitive form in the trade and
When a customer is undecided as to what commercial press during the last ten years, but
camera to buy, or whether to take the one you this is the first attempt to write a systematic treatise in book form. It is really a study of
are trying to sell or not, mention our contest.
Bring it out as an extra inducement. Tell the retail distribution in all its phases, and the
prospect to bring a few good specimens of the philosophy of the subject is gone into with
work done by the camera back to the store and some care. The reasons for existing conditions
will submit them to us. are brought out interestingly, and no merchant
Pictures must be sent in by druggists. We could read the book without being both profited
do not accept them direct from camera cusand entertained.
tomers. The chapter on the chain-store system is es
You want to get in close touch with your pecially illuminating, and there are others on
patrons; it is business that you should do so. such practical subjects as "price maintenance,”
Here is your chance. Work it to the limit! "buying at inside prices," "the expenses of re
Look up the announcement printed on advertailing,” "location and rent,” “the departmenttising page 23 of the February number and store," and "how retail prices are fixed.”
familiarize yourself with the conditions. To us perhaps the most startling chapter is that entitled "the failure rate of retail business." Professor Commons is quoted as say
WHERE IS EVERYBODY? ing that “10 per cent of the men who go into
It's funny that our series of prize offers this business succeed, 50 per cent vegetate, and 40 year don't seem to be "pulling” as they have in per cent fail.” This statement is verified by years gone by. On some of the topics we have an elaborate study of the conditions in Osh
received only one or two papers, and there is kosh, Wisconsin, from 1890 to 1912. Of the plenty of opportunity yet to get into the game. 526 merchants in business at different times Once more then: during this period, only 172 remained at the 1. We want some practical papers on the close of it. Most of the failures in business subject of "How to Meet Big Competition.” stop short of bankruptcy, and for this reason 2. We want some rattling good articles on the ordinary statistics collected by Dun and the subject of Salesmanship—actual and not Bradstreet fall far short of the actual truth. theoretical salesmanship.
With failures in the retail business so com- 3. We offer three prizes for descriptions of mon, is it cause for any wonder that merchants “Blue Sky I Have Bought.” Where is the man in all lines are in need of more and more in- who can't write on that theme? struction in the conduct of their stores? It is 4. “Luck as a Factor in My Business a whole lot easier to fail than to succeed. Career”—can you beat that for a subject? We
are after three prize papers along this line.
5. We also want some papers on the general OUR CAMERA CONTEST PRESENTS AN
subject of "My Funniest Experience.” The OPPORTUNITY.
prize money is waiting for the chaps who can We wonder if druggists are taking full give us something good in this direction. advantage of the opportunity to increase busi- 6. And show cards—quite a number of colness in their camera departments by using our lections have come in, but there is room for Camera Contest as a sales argument?
more. Send along some of your best specimens We are offering 13 prizes for amateur work. and grab one of the prizes. The only restriction is that the pictures sub- Let us hear from you!
PROFITS AND EARNINGS
A FLORIDA STATEMENT.
A net profit of 13.2 per cent is unusually good; yet “Florida's” figures lead to that finding. "Florida” has charged a proprietor's salary in the expense account; we are sure that that point, at least, has not been overlooked. He states, too, that freight and drayage have been added to the cost of merchandise.
So we have no reason to doubt the showing.
“Illinois” draws $1200 a year as a salary; “Florida” finds it possible to pull out twice as much. At the end of the year one has $675 left, while the other shows up with a balance a little better than $3375.
In the statement under consideration, the gross profit is 28.6 and the percentage of expense 24.9. Gross profit should be 35 per cent, if expenses are kept where they are—and expenses are about right, it would seem.
"Illinois” sells goods enough. Nearly $18,000 in annual sales is an excellent showing But to merely do the business isn't all there is to it. It's net profit that counts.
11. Gross profits
$ 5152..25 $_4175.92
A Madison, Wisconsin, druggist calls our
attention to an error which appeared in this Florida. Both stores do a good business. But department in our January number. We “Florida" gets 36.9 per cent in gross profits. handled a statement from Illinois headed "A "Illinois” gets 28.6. Why the difference? Chicago Statement," and it was said that the One of two conditions must account for it.
gross profit was 30.5. “This percentage does Either our Southern friend charges more for not seem to be in harmony with the method of what he sells, or else he sells goods which bring obtaining it,” our Madison correspondent says. a much larger margin of profit.
Nor is it. There is no possible way by
which we might evade the fact that the figures AN ENGLISH DRUGGIST AND HIS WIFE. are wrong, even though we were inclined to
Arthur Mortimer conducts the St. James
Pharmacy, Harrowgate, England. His store The percentage of gross profit (obtained by is very modern and he does a nice business. dividing the gross profit in figures by the net
Readers of the BULLETIN will feel particularly sales for the year) should have been set down
interested, we feel sure, for we have published at 35.8, not at 30.5. Expense, expressed in percentage, was found to be 23.5. This would leave a net profit of 12.3 per cent, instead of 7. per cent.
We thank our correspondent for calling our attention to the mistake; and on the other hand we most sincerely hope that "Chicago" has not in any sense been inconvenienced by the error.
A PROSPEROUS WISCONSIN DRUGGIST.
George L. Baldauf not only conducts one of the largest and best equipped drug stores in Wisconsin, but he is also president of a Milwaukee bank—the Wisconsin State Savings
articles from Mr. Mortimer's pen from time to time.
More than a year ago we printed a number of papers under the head "If I Married Again
GEO. L. BALDAUF.
bank, 25th Street and North Avenue and president of the North Avenue Civic Association.
“No matter what it is, if it's sold in a drug store we have it, and usually at a price that will mean a distinct saving to you,” is the slogan that Mr. Baldauf employs in his newspaper
MRS. ARTHUR MORTIMER. advertising and on his calendar. Three regis
Three regis- Would I Marry a Druggist?” Well, Mrs. tered pharmacists are in charge of the prescrip- Mortimer evidently would—the same druggist. tion department.
Being a druggist’s wife is no hardship whatOn another page in this issue of the BUL
ever, apparently! LETIN an interior view of the Baldauf Drug
We find frequent mention of Mr. Mortimer Company's store is shown.
in the drug journals of his own country.