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Over 3400 sales were made to customers curing of larger quarters, but as the store had who attended the spring opening held at the been on Jackson's best known corner for about store of Hunter & McGee, at Jackson, Mis- thirty years it was deemed inadvisable to seek sissippi, on March 21 and 22.
a new location. Accordingly the firm had the The rapid growth of the firm's business original quarters enlarged and remodeled, and during the last few years necessitated the se- the opening commemorated the establishment
of one of the most attractive and commodious stores in the State of Mississippi.
The formal opening was attended by many enjoyable features. Excellent music was rendered at intervals during the two-day period and attractive souvenirs were distributed to patrons and all other visitors.
Grape juice, coffee, cakes, and other sodafountain specialties were served to all comers. Women visitors were treated to miniature boxes of confectionery and samples of various toilet articles featured by the store. More than 900 cigars and packages of cigarettes were distributed to smokers. A plentiful supply of attractive souvenirs for the children was also on hand, and the gifts were distributed liberally.
During the opening there were also offered special inducements to visitors who made purchases. For the women customers a liberal
J. Clyde McGee.
size jar of toilet cream was given with each trade, greatly enhances the popularity of the 25-cent purchase. A 50-purchase by a man establishment. Mineral waters are featured entitled him to a dependable safety razor, free especially, orders for them being placed in carof charge.
load lots. An entire building is used for their A feature of the newly remodeled store is storage. the prescription department, in which four The store delivery system is in operation at registered pharmacists are kept constantly all hours of the day and night. Four mesbusy. It is claimed that Hunter & McGee dis- sengers are employed, and within a few minpense more prescriptions than any other firm utes after an order is filled a boy is on his way in the State. The prescription department as fast as a motorcycle can take him to the furnishes medicines and supplies for several of waiting customer. the hospitals in Jackson and also contracts to The firm of Hunter & McGee is the oldest furnish drugs to the various railway lines en- drug concern in the city of Jackson, having tering the city.
been established about thirty years ago by Dr. During the past two years Hunter & McGee John F. Hunter, one of Mississippi's foremost have met with considerable success in the physicians, who has since been its senior memwholesale line, having an extensive jobbing ber. trade throughout their territory, and supplying Associated with Dr. Hunter as junior partscores of drug stores and physicians in near-by ner and manager is J. Clyde McGee, who is towns with drugs, chemicals, biological prod- widely known to both the wholesale and retail ucts, and the like. Dental supplies are carried,
Dental supplies are carried, trade throughout the State, and who is demany dentists buying their supplies from the servedly popular in both business and social firm.
circles. Mr. McGee served as president of the A beautiful soda fountain, under the man- Mississippi Pharmaceutical Association a year agement of a veteran in the confectioner's
or two ago.
How to Meet Big Competition.
A big topic, surely! We print the three papers which won prizes in our recent contest. Mr. Sawrie has met the issue head-on. Mr. Frawley outlines a specific method which he has found useful, and Mr. Mortimer believes in intrenching himself behind a row of special preparations. The issue is a vital one, one which cannot be evaded or ignored. Points covered in this discussion, therefore, are not only timely, but highly important.
BY ADOPTING SOME OF THEIR METHODS. largely because of his haphazard methods, By Mark A. SAWRIE, SELMA, CALIFORNIA.*
which lack these qualities more or less.
In the stores where I am not known I study I haven't tried to meet big competition. I
all of these things from the customer's standhave tried to beat it!
point. I have studied the methods which have made
Where I am known, I cultivate the personal the success of the department store, the mail- acquaintance of the management and exchange order house, and the chain store. I have
experiences with the head men, for I find them adapted these methods to my own business,
a fine lot of fellows who have climbed to the and have added the element of personality,
top because of their ability. I reap a harvest which it is impossible for them to have.
of good ideas every time I meet one of them; In order to study the methods of the big
and he, in turn, is glad to get my ideas, for he realizes that the small dealer is closer to the buying public than he is and that there are features of the small store that are desirable even in the big chain store.
This, therefore, strengthens my confidence in the ultimate future of the small merchant who is awake to his possibilities.
CUT RATES WANING.
Mark A. Sawrie.
stores I frequently go where I am not known and walk into their establishments as an ordinary customer.
When their show windows attract me I try to analyze why they command my attention. Likewise I study their counter displays, the position of the several lines of goods in the store, and the arrangement of articles on the shelves.
One of the most important things I have learned is that the big store is relying less and less on the value of "cut rates” as a businessbuilder. The day of bait prices is fast waning, for the public has learned to expect that the man who sells one line of goods below the cost of doing business must reap an extra profit in other lines. Therefore the big merchant of to-day is striving to create confidence in the buying public's mind, and is bringing his goods before the customer in such an attractive manner that the person who comes in to buy one article is tempted to buy others in addition to the original want.
Letting the chain-store man speak for himself, here is what he might say:
“Our show windows are dressed to tell a single story; so planned that they will drive home a definite idea. They are never filled with a hodge-podge assortment of unrelated goods. Inside the store, our counter displays follow the same general lines, and all of our advertising is put back of the goods displayed.
DEPARTMENTAL ARRANGEMENT. “Our store is arranged in departments as
I have found that the big fellow does everything according to a well-thought-out system; that there is a reason back of every move; and that the little fellow is little and stays little
*Mr. Sawrie wins the first prize of $15.
far as possible, with related lines near each patron to come in and see that particular other, thus making it easier for clerks to serve article for himself before he buys it. You will trade, and making the store more attractive to have the mail-order house beat a thousand customers.
miles or more, for you are right on the ground ! “Staple stocks which the public knows are Last but not least, I come to the idea of carried in drug stores are kept to the rear, and personality for the small store. the novelty and specialty lines are placed in the By store personality I do not mean that the front where they will be seen by all the atmosphere of the store should be the persontransients who enter the store.
ality of the proprietor himself. It should be “No one ever comes in to have a physician's the composite personality of the entire workprescription filled because he sees on the front ing force, with the best qualities of each and shelf a beautifully inscribed bottle labeled, every man making up the character of its ser‘Hydrarg. Chlor. Mit.' However, he does vice. pick up some little novelty from the front To accomplish this, here in our store, we counter, and buys it simply because he chances hold regular clerks' meetings after the store to see it. This is sufficient reason to warrant is closed and when we will not be disturbed. our front space for the display of attractive In these meetings the junior clerk has just as merchandise.
much to say as I have, and he is encouraged "REPEAT” BUSINESS.
to criticize me as much as he does his fellow
clerks. "Another thing which we try to do is to
In these meetings we discuss the good things secure the agency for specialty lines which
we ought to adopt in giving service, and we have a good-sized initial sale, and which
decide on the things which should be elimibring in repeat business. Among these may
nated. We bring up good selling talks for be mentioned cameras, the primary sale being
different articles, and each man adopts the but' a forerunner of many visits for supplies.
same arguments, so that the entire sales force Phonographs, too, with the subsequent demand
works in unison. for records, have proved excellent for our
EFFICIENT TEAM WORK. trade. Another line which is getting better all the time is the small pocket flash-lamp, which
There are five of us, and I am proud of the repeatedly brings the purchaser back for bat
fact that my customers do not seem to have teries and bulbs."
"pets” with whom they wish to trade. This is In my second paragraph I mentioned the
evidence to me that every man is rendering a mail-order house as one of the forms of big
similar service; in other words, that he is concompetition which I have tried to meet. The tributing to the personality of our store.
I mail-order house is doubtless the biggest com
I don't feel that I have given our store a petitor the average-sized retail merchant has.
personality. Instead, I feel that its person
ality is, in a measure, imparted to me. If I Personally, we have tried to beat it at its own game—by using the mailing list.
only had one clerk I should have clerks' meetTake a mail-order catalogue and look it
ings; and even if I were working alone I would over. See how they have some particular occasionally get off by myself and think out thing to say about every item they advertise.
some of these things that we discuss in our Apply that method to your own advertising.
After all, it seems easy to me to meet big AN IMPORTANT FACTOR.
competition. It isn't difficult to copy methods Don't try to advertise everything under the which have already proved successful; and the
Pick out a few articles, and then write personal contact that the smaller merchant has as accurate a description as you can of each, with his customers gives him a big advantage so that the customer will picture it in his own over those establishments which by virtue of mind. Then go one step further in creating their very magnitude must necessarily lose out the desire, by telling how easy it is for the in this particular.
There will be three prize papers in June on “Blue sky I have bought." Don't miss them, they
are mighty good.
BY FEATURING THE DRUG END OF THE Now this means that he will have to meet BUSINESS.
Big Competition on at least 10 per cent of his By John P. FRAWLEY, BANGOR, MAINE.*
sales. He should meet this competition; but In attempting to solve the problem embodied under no circumstances should he try to underin this proposition, I should first ask the privi- sell it, because this has been proven the most lege of substituting the words "compete with” abject folly in many instances. for “meet,” thus making the question under
We have now decided that the druggist must discussion read "How to Compete with Big cut on 10 per cent of his sales, mostly propriCompetition.” For a small dealer—i.e., a etaries. On the remaining 90 per cent, which druggist in a city of say from 20,000 to 40,- represents real drug business, he is going to 000 people—hasn't one chance in a million of fortify in some way to prevent the enemy from meeting big competition and making a success
effecting its capture. of it. In the first place, he hasn't the capital;
How can he do this? secondly, and far more important, he is un
INTERESTING THE PUBLIC. familiar with "big" methods of doing business.
I want to talk now to the man who likes to A successful druggist certainly must have
have a customer inquire for herbs, chemicals, some drug business-legitimate, straight drug
essences, tinctures, and all those old familiar business, I mean; and I have been reliably in
drug-store items that we learned to like and formed that one of the managers of a great
liked to learn about when we were boys in the drug-chain system made the statement, and
business. That's the fellow who will appreciwith emphasis, that only 10 per cent of the
ate the idea I am about to advance and put it volume of trade secured by the cutter (so
in practice, with the result that the people will called) is done with proprietaries, “patent,”
still retain the thought that his is a real drug and toilet. So a man with a reliable drug business has his fight nine-tenths won, pro
store, and when they want drugs, they will
walk blocks to trade with him. vided he can keep big competition from taking
What is it that always will attract and hold it away from him.
the attention of the public? Why, something FIRST LEARN HOW IT IS DONE.
that they are seldom privileged to see. And In my opinion, the first thing for a man of where will you find anything more curious this kind to do is to soak up all he can of the
than crude drugs? methods used by chain stores, etc.—methods Turn to your jobber. Buy a bundle of which the business world of to-day recognizes chiretta root, some agar-agar, a bundle of as modern "efficiency."
Honduras sarsaparilla, some Peruvian bark in A druggist should not adopt these methods, long pieces, some nux vomica beans, some Icethough, with the idea that he is going to di- land moss, Irish moss, and Malva flowers, vorce himself from such methods as he has some glass wool, and some Saint John's bread; employed in the past and with good results. buy some jequirity berries, cascara bark Rather should he tack them on as a side-line (whole), dragon's-blood, Job's tears, areca in the management of his business.
nuts, orange apple, Japan wax, Penghawar If he has a customer who wants to talk cut, djambi, dandelion root (whole), bitter apple, he should be conversant with the line of con- henna leaves, garlic, aconite tubers, skunk cabversation employed in that kind of merchan- bage, sumbul root, senna pods, argols, etc. Buy dizing; and if the customer is one of his regu- all this, and some other items, possibly, which lars, he should be prepared to be to him or her may be thought interesting or attractive; with the same chivalrous merchant that has made a few exceptions, they are all low in price. At him a reliable and acceptable pharmacist. I this particular time some of them may be do not mean to imply that he must treat cus- scarce and high, but these may be eliminated. tomers differently, because that would never
OTHER ITEMS. do; but he will find some who will almost insist on making prices for him, and those are
Then go through your store and pick out the ones he must convert from the thought benzoin, vanilla beans, red rose leaves, acacia,
such drugs as elm bark, licorice root, gum that he is trying to rob them.
tragacanth, Ceylon cinnamon, diamond dust, *Mr. Frawley wins the second prize of $10.
spermaceti, cocoa butter, etc.