Sales Progress Report – first 4 months


ALL OFFICES AND STORES                5916.1

New York, May 9,1916.

We have just compiled the figures for the first four months business and I wish to congratulate every man in the business on the wonderful showing that has been made in the first four months of this year.

The sales for the first 4 months,1916: were $23,593,395.14

“     “    “    “    “   4   “     1915 were $20,430,364.59

Showing a gain of:              $3,162,930.55

15.48 per cent. gain in sales.

The first four months of 1915 compared with the first four months of 1914, show a gain of $838,080.66 in sales, 4.24 per cent. gain.   Compare these figures and you will see that the first four months of this year show almost four times as big an increase as they did for the first four months of last year over the previous year.

One of the strongest features on our report is that the old stores that were running full four months both years show an increase in the year 1916 of $1,973,50.38 and the balance of the increase is made up in the new stores. This compares with a gain of $20511.93 in old stores in 1915 for the first four months.

Now, this great record has only been accomplished by everyone working in harmony with the one object in view, of bigger business. The manager in the store with his assistants and clerks have done wonderful work in accomplishing these results, and the district office managers with their assistants combined with the buyers of this office have all done wonderful work to achieve these results.

Now, that we have made such a good start and have shown what

we can do with the effort that has been put forth, we want to keep up full steam ahead and go to it with every means in our power to make this record continue through the year.

We have set as a standard for the first four months the average gain of 15.48 per cent. in sales. Some stores have not measured up to this standard, and every manager who has fallen below this average wants to take account of things at once and find out why it is his store is not up to the average. Take the matter up with the district superintendent and see if he can locate the trouble, and after the trouble is located, apply the remedy, to bring the store up to the standard that has been set by the business as a whole.

Some stores have shown wonderful gains, far in excess of the average gain, but we don’t want to be satisfied with that, as a great many towns are having a tremendous boom on account of increased business for war material, and, of course, we are getting our share of that. The question is, are we getting all that we are entitled to?  If your store shows better than the average, don’t let up a minute; keep your store in as fine condition as you know how, including exterior and interior painting and lighting, keep fine looking windows, keep the goods

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.                     5916-2



displayed on the counters that you are showing in the windows, keeping up as complete a stock as you know how, and in that way make the best bid possible for more business and greater profits.

The estimated earnings for the first four months show a gain of 18.61 per cent. whereas the earnings for the first four months of 1915 in comparison with 1914 show a loss of about 1 per cent.     These estimated earnings are based on the last inventory gross per cent., but both years are figured on the same basis of gross per cent. for a true comparison.

There is a tendency when we are doing such a large volume of business to forget the expense account, as the old stores increased their expenses for four months $295,373.00, and the expenses in the new stores for that same period were $286,226.00.  Of course, part of this expense in the old stores is increased rent, increased freight and in some stores, increased salaries, but we want to watch all items of expense carefully and see that there is no waste, as every time we stop a leakage, or convert waste wrapping materials into money, it is that much net profit.

There has been a great deal said about shortage of merchandise, but the report which I have before me shows that the old stores have about $200.000. more merchandise on hand than they had a year ago and the business as a whole has over Two Million Dollars more merchandise on hand than it had January 1,1916, so that we have been getting merchandise, although a few special items may be short.

The buyers are doing everything in their power to get all

the merchandise that is needed and when one source of supply is unable to take care of our requirements they immediately get busy and look up other manufacturers, so that you can rely that the buyers will get the goods for you if it is possible to do so. This question of merchandise is worrying our competitors quite a lot as we have had numerous reports from our managers since Mr. Woolworth’s letter of warning under date of March 25th, advising us that our competitors have been in to see our managers, putting up the plea that there was a shortage of merchandise and asking us to raise the prices or not to make prominent displays of certain lines of merchandise so as to make what we had last as long as possible.

Following the instructions given by Mr. Woolworth in that letter our store managers have refused to be a party to any such schemes and are selling their merchandise at the prices set by the buyers and district offices, and all the merchandise that we have in our stores should be prominently displayed for sale as there is no object in keeping merchandise for the sake of holding it; when it is once sold we can use that money for other merchandise even though we cannot duplicate the same goods that we have had. It is the nimble sixpence that counts and holding on to merchandise because you are afraid you won’t get any more is a mighty poor way of helping the net profits.

We have opened since January 1st, nineteen new stores, and from the leases that have already been signed, we will open


EXECUTIVE OFFICE.                    5916-3

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                 New York, May 9,1916.


during the year 1916, more stores than we did in the year 1915, when we opened 73, so the business is going ahead rapidly and the record for the first four months of 1916 is certainly one to be proud of and such a record should inspire us all to make still greater efforts to make the remaining eight months of the year 1916 hold up to the standard which we have established so far, and I hope that it will be my privilege when the six months’ figures are compiled to have as favorable a report to make as we are now submitting to the Board of Directors for the first four months of this year. We all have our part to do to achieve these results.   Let’s go to it!

Yours very truly,



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