Warm Weather Sales
( Originally Published 1902 )
This morning, while in a Broadway clothing store, selecting a straw hat and some light weight summer needs, I noticed that all the trading in the store was being done in the department given to straw hats, crash suits, light coats and vests, light weight underwear and other dog-day wearables.
The departments given to regular summer suits and the usual lines were deserted.
The hot weather of the last few days has accentuated the demand for goods to fit weather conditions, and I thought it a waste of good powder and shot for the retailer—as he did-to pay much attention to advertising the staple lines of goods. In my opinion it would be better policy for him to give the greater part of his newspaper space to straw hats, crash suits, etc.-such goods as people are now looking for. The staples could be mentioned in a short footnote.
It is easier to sell smaller priced articles than the higher priced. This is an axiom generally accepted in the retail world.
Warm weather wearables are lower priced than the regular needs in clothing and furnishings. Considering this fact and the further fact that there is a strong demand for light, cool garments at present, isn't it advisable that the principal advertising space should be given to these goods?
During the entire month of July the clothier and furnisher should study special sales in negligee shirts, straw hats, crash suits, thin coats and vests, summer russets and similar needs.
The ads ought to be well illustrated-bright, animated, crisp, and full of suggestiveness as to the timeliness and usefulness of these goods.
A letter came to me the other day from a clothier, asking the average life of the special sale. Answer a week. Of course it depends upon the importance of the sale. Some are worth pushing a fortnight—others die an easy and natural death in two days. Use a special sale as you would a lemon; when you have squeezed the worth out of it, let it drop—but before you drop it be sure you have squeezed the juice of Mammon well out of it.
To sustain summer interest the dry goods and general store ought to study through July special sales in summer silks, wash fabrics, white goods, shirt waists, sailor hats, bathing suits and so on through the long list of articles most likely to meet the desires of Her Royal Highness, The American Woman. She may not have any pressing need for these articles—in most instances she has done the bulk of her summer buying earlier—but she has a keen eye for bargains in such lines, and if anything " good " captures her fancy and she has the spare change on hand she will surely invest.
A great number of retailers stop, or almost stop, advertising through dog-day weather. This is a mistake-a very great mistake. There are always some dollars floating about-not so many to be sure as during the regular buying season—but enough to justify special efforts to capture them.
The furniture dealer can easily do a fair July business by good advertising of reed and rattan furniture, hammocks, lawn seats, etc. There are plenty small nick-hacks in the house-furnishing line which will appeal to any housewife's heart if rightly priced and rightly advertised. If you will notice the movements of the most successful carpet, rug, upholstery and furniture retailers you will notice that they keep up the game of good advertising right along.
In this article I could run the whole gamut of retail lines and advise the grocer, the shoe dealer, the suit man, the haberdasher, and the entire list to specialize certain lines for the month of July. But such a detail would be wearisome—if this screed will jog the understanding of the reader in the direction of advertising timely goods by timely sales, or maybe jibe with some ideas which have already been laying in his own brain, then it will have accomplished its purpose.
For your advertising always study the seasons and weather conditions—it is simply a matter of a little forethought-and you can save and make many good dollars by so doing.