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GETTING THE MOST
By HAROLD WHITEHEAD President American School of Business, Inc., Boston
There are certain definite means by which customers are brought into a drug store. Each of these sales channels by itself is a trade builder, and if they are all united certain results must follow. These five channels are:
1. The show window.
Should there be a druggist who is not securing his quota of business he owes it to himself, his employees, and his customers to make a detailed investigation. He will surely find that one or more of these channels are clogged through misuse, or else are blocked altogether through neglect or failure to properly correlate them.
Let us discuss briefly the first of these—the Show Window. The four other avenues will be taken up in separate articles in subsequent issues of the BULLETIN.
AN ILLUSTRATION. I remember at the time of the Boer War seeing a window in a hardware store in a section of London, England, filled with little dolls dressed to represent British soldiers and Boer soldiers. The British were, of course, chasing the Boers across the window. This attracted so much attention that the whole sidewalk was blocked with people anxious to see such a unique display. That window surely attracted plenty of attention, but—it did not sell hardware!
There's a difference. In many lines of business we can see the same mistake made: trimming the window with all kinds of fool stunts which attract attention, but which do not sell
create desire to purchase those goods at once. That is the situation in a nutshell. And there are two general rules to follow to secure this result. The first is to apply the law of association; the second is to apply the law of individual appeal.
To make a display of a number of articles which are naturally associated in their use, or which suggest each other, is to apply the law of association. For example, a display composed of talcum powder, perfume, rouge, cold cream, vanishing cream, toilet soap, bath powder, etc., would follow this principle, for they are all associated in their use and suggest each other. They naturally give the viewer a harinonious impression.
CONFUSION IS CREATED. l f, on the contrary, a window is hlled with a variety of dissociated articles they give a confused impression to the passer-by. Suppose a hundred salesmen simultaneously began to cry their wares to you, each one having a different story to tell. There would be such a babel of noises that you would be unable to distinguish any particular one.
Not only that, but a display of dissociated articles may sometimes be positively repelling. For instance, a window trim made up, let us say, of fly destroyer, candy, syringes, toothbrushes, catarrh tablets, chewing gum, and hair restorer. This would suggest an association of ideas which would be actually disgusting. Yet we have all seen such displays.
When the window is trimmed with a single line of goods, like talcum powder, for instance, the law of single appeal is used. Such a display has the advantage of giving a more forceful impression than a display of associated articles, but it has the disadvantage of not reminding the passer-by of some other article which he or she might buy. Any one passing could not fail to be impressed with the fact that the window contained talcum powder, but it might not remind the lady that she wanted some toilet water.
The arrangement of a window trim should arrest the attention of the customer; the goods themselves should arouse interest in them; the prices and “talking cards" displayed should
*The first of a series of five articles on ways and means of getting business.
SMALL TOWNS AND CITIES.
SMALL TOWNS AND CITIES.
of course. This was also covered with the The single trim idea applies in its use prin- blue cipally to small towns. In such places it is
On the apex of the cone we placed just one somewhat difficult to keep giving an appear
pill! Over it was hung a powerful electric ance of freshness and newness with mixed
bulb, and over this was an ordinary glass window displays. Here practically everybody
shade. From the shade was suspended, sees the display within twenty-four hours, and
straight down, a 6-inch rim of cardboard. Over
the glass shade and the cardboard addition we mixed displays become an old story, for there is a great similarity of appearance between
hung some more of the blue cloth. them. If every week, however, there is a spe
The result was that when the light was
turned on it was concentrated on the top of cial display of some particular article, it will
the cone and the pill which lay there. In front strike home more forcefully than the mixed
of the cone we placed a small sign to this efdisplay will.
fect: In a large city, on the other hand, the mixed display is generally the best, for there are thousands of passers-by who give the window
These pills are so valuable in reliev
ing human ills that we feel that a only casual attention. If the casual observer
single pill is of sufficient importance wants anything at all in the line of the goods
to have this window to itself! Come displayed, the sight of the window will bring
inside and we will tell you why. such a want to the attention and he or she will be apt to turn into the store almost subcon
An extreme example, of course; but results sciously.
are what count—and this trim got results. This does not mean that a druggist should
If I were asked to name the principal fault never use a single display in a big city, or that of store windows, I would say it was the dreary he should never use a mixed display in a small
monotony of them. It is so easy to get into a town. Rather is the general rule suggested set style of window trimming. The best winthat the mixed display is more effective in large dow trimmer is liable to get cramped in his towns and the single display in small towns. ideas of display; to get into a rut, in other
This may sound elementary, yet one may words. visit almost any town, big or little, and he will
THE WAY TO JUDGE. not have to walk above two blocks in the
There are only two ways to judge the effect business section to find some merchants—not of a window. The more important, of course, necessarily druggists, perhaps—who ignore not is by means of the amount of business it pulls. only this rule but all others.
The other is to get the customer's perspective I have mentioned certain toilet goods as an on it. Let the window trimmer have a little example of the application of the law of asso time off every day or so to view the store winciation. Here is an extreme example of the dows in the town, or, if you are your own winapplication of the law of single appeal: dow trimmer, do it yourself. Do even more .DISPLAYING A PILL.
than that—visit neighboring towns and view
the store windows there. A certain druggist had a line of pills selling The window trimmer who does this cannot for 25 cents a box which, so far as I could fail to gather a variety of ideas which he can make out, cured everything from pink-eye to
apply to his own store, and also (quite as imhousemaid's knee. He wanted my assistance
portant) get many ideas of what not to do. in making a window display of them to “jack If a window trimmer has imagination and up” their sales somewhat; so I planned a dis- if he lacks it he is not the genuine article—he play for him.
will be able to adapt the display of ideas of milFirst we bought some dark-blue cloth and linery stores, or hardware stores, or even fish ,hung it around the window in a half-circle. stores! Some more of the same material was placed On coming back from one of these windowon the floor of the window. Then we made inspecting jaunts, take a good look at your own a cardboard cone about 18 inches high, and windows. Try to look upon them as a cusplaced it in the center—board end downward, tomer would. Do not try to gloss over their faults, but look upon them with a critical eye, and ask yourself, “Would I go in and buy any thing because of this display?"
Note in particular if the glass is clean, for however well the window may be trimmed, if
the glass is dirty the goods displayed will look dingy; and patrons, as a rule, are not fighting each other to buy soiled goods. A dirty window suggests conditions that customers are anxious to keep away from.
Mr. Whitehead's second article, to be published next month, will be devoted to printed advertisements.
vacuum bottles, drinking-cups, and rubber was in reality a Japanese parasol, cut to fit lined cases for holding brushes.
requirements and covered completely, leaving The Williamsport belle who posed for a cen- scalloped edges around its entire circumferterpiece was made by first building a frame- ence. The lady wore rubber gloves, and car-. work from Onken units and then dressing it. ried a bag in the left hand. The "gown” was modeled after a very fetch This display appeared in the window of the ing "effect” depicted in the special Fourth of Millener Drug Company's store, Williamsport, July number of the Ladies' Home Journal. Pennsylvania.
To the Editors of the Bulletin:
to become acquainted with their wives and Do you know where or what Tasmania is? children, who would no doubt appreciate an
It is a dot on the map south of Australia, evening with Dad. There are higher aims in and one of the six states of the Commonwealth. life than amassing dollars. If you are a drugIt is an island about the size of Ireland, and gist be a man also, not the slave of the public! separated from the mainland by a strait 200 Some time ago the BULLETIN published a miles wide. At one time, Australia and Tas- number of interesting letters from druggists'
wives on the subject “If I married again would I marry a druggist?” They were very pathetic, but cheerful. The dominant note seemed to be that the wives must make the best of a bad bargain and keep on smiling!
Now if such a question were propounded here the answer would be, “Yes, if we couldn't catch a Governor, we would marry a druggist
every time!” THE SQUARE PAROLACY.
And this now brings me to the point I wish to write upon, and that is the matter of druggists' profits. It appears that some of your
Mr. Johnston's store.
mania were connected, and Australia was a promontory of Tasmania !
Our population is 200,000.' Hobart, the capital city, has about 35,000 inhabitants. It is a beautiful place, with the finest harbor in the world, the average depth of water being 40 to 60 feet alongside the piers.
Launceston, where I live, is the next city of importance, with a population of 25,000. It is the capital of the north of the island, and is situated at the head of the lovely river Tamar, forty miles from the sea. The climate and scenery are the best to be found anywhere.
In pharmaceutical matters, strange as it may seem, we have led the world. In 1843 the government passed a medical act by which all chemists had to be registered, and no one with in three miles of a chemist's shop was allowed to vend drugs or medicines of any kind. This valuable privilege we still possess.
We are also pioneers in 6 o'clock closing. Financially we have not suffered, and, more wonderful still, the sky has not fallen and the government goes on just the same. I advise all druggists to close at the same hour as other business people do. They will then have time
azine of business," and the editor supported found my gross profits to be 40 per cent and Mr. Mason's method of calculating profits. The my expenses of doing business, including saldifference resulting from calculating profits on ary, 30 per cent of turnover, leaving 10 per cost and on selling price is remarkable. Drill- cent, net. ing into druggists the fact that by selling for Now to make that 40 per cent I must average a dollar and a half what costs a dollar they 67 per cent on my laid-down cost. This is a are not making much, if any, profit will do big order, or, as you would say, a “tough more to stop price-cutting than any price-pro- proposition.” It is just about stretching the tection society yet invented.
elastic to the breaking point. I have to push In Australia we get good profits; in many my own proprietary lines, upon which I get all cases too high; ranging from 40 to 60 per cent, the profit, the middlemen being eliminated, to gross. The turnover, however, is small, as the the limit. only side-lines carried are photographic, toilet, In conclusion I may say that if in happier and perfumery articles. Only a few shops run times any member of the big BULLETIN fama soda fountain, for if that trade is encouraged ily can see his way clear to visit the sunny land it is found to be at the expense of something of the kangaroo, I can assure him a right royal else.
and hearty welcome from all brothers of the To show how you have got to bedrock: I pestle and mortar. Look us up! have made an analysis of my own business and Launceston, Tasmania. Jas. D. JOHNSTON.
DRUG STORES IN
By STELLA HENRY
The American traveler visiting Europe for his health and carries his physician's prescripthe first time is struck by the absence of any tion with him, he must, in Germany, take it store approaching what is known in the United to a pharmacy where medicines are comStates as a “drug store.” And he is disap- pounded. In England it can be filled at a pointed. He experiences a distinct sense of “chemist's shop,” but not at a "drug store.” loss.
He may also experience some difficulty in getPerhaps he wants to send home a post-card, ting it compounded, for the names of certain and he turns to the nearest drug store to have drugs do not always indicate the same things the want supplied. He may buy picture post- in different countries. Perhaps after the war cards there, if in Germany, but if he asks for is over and time has, in a measure, healed its stamps he will be directed in a very courteous scars, an international pharmacopæia may manner to the nearest post-office.
solve the difficulty in this particular. In England picture post-cards are not sold In some places in England attempts have in the chemists' shops.
been made to install what is considered an He cannot quench his thirst at a soda foun- American soda fountain, but these attempts tain in a pharmacy in either country, nor can have not been altogether successful. The true he buy the article with which to practice the American soda fountain is peculiar to this jaw movement known as “chewing gum.” country, and druggists abroad, in their atNor can he purchase an umbrella, not even a tempts to ensnare Americans as customers, folding one, as he could at Riker-Hegeman's have failed to be quite convincing when it in New York.
comes to shaping up scientific ice-cream sodas In both Germany and England there are two and Billy sundaes. kinds of stores where drugs are kept: 'the In Germany prescriptions are dispensed by strictly ethical apothecary shop, and the place pharmacists, and a pharmacist may not own that more closely conforms to our drug store. more than one shop in the same town. Patent
If the traveler has been ordered abroad for medicines, toilet requisites, etc., can be obtained