« PředchozíPokračovat »
more a month. I have the location, the matter how many Banker Fillmores there organization, and the goods the people are in your town, it may not be necessary need. I lack money to tide me over this to throw up the sponge. If I had possessed depression. The sudden check in trade the limited grit of some merchants I know, has left me with an expensive plant; the these Fillmores of New York would have charges must be met, sir. I have a for- counted me out during that panic, and tune in sight at Junction Square, but I properly so. haven't quite connected with it. Now if Yet here I was, apparently at the end your bank will make this loan, at whatever of my string. The situation confronting rate of interest you please, I am willing me was similar, in a way, to that other to place my deposit account with you. It situation when I came up to New York will develop into a most valuable account, from Lost River to seek cash for my unI am sure."
fortunate department store down there. “It is useless to talk about it,” said Yet, in reality, there could be no comFillmore.
parison between one of these crises and “I should like to demonstrate to you the the other. On the former occasion I truth of my assertions," I insisted. "I sought to finance a concern that failed in should be most pleased to go over with you every way to meet banking requirements; my financial affairs."
on the latter occasion I was prepared to "If I recollect right,” he observed, withstand the severe tests of the shrewdest quietly, “you were in business somewhere old bankers in Manhattan. before."
You see, there are times even with the "At Lost River," I admitted.
most ably managed business when its “What became of that business? I salvation depends, not on the banks, but have forgotten."
on the resource and ingenuity of its owners. "That business," said I, “is no criterion When I finally abandoned the bankers, by which to judge me to-day. I was a I went up to see Higgins in the office of beginner then, and I failed because I
his employers, the silk importers. Of undertook a thing without knowing how. course I did not expect to get money from If you can disabuse your mind of any pos- him, for he had little, at best. What I sible prejudice that may be there — wipe wanted was merely a confidential disLost River off the slate absolutely, as I cussion of a certain plan that had flashed myself have done -- I can demonstrate across my mind the night previous. Higmy proposition."
gins, like myself, had become a close stu"Mr. Broadhurst,” he broke in, with dent of business. Lost River had thorfinality, “our bank cannot lend you oughly sobered him and made an analytical twenty thousand dollars, nor even a chemist of him. Many a concern needs a thousand dollars. Without regard to chemist more than anything else — not a your record at Lost River, we must refuse pharmaceutical chemist, but one who is your application. You will excuse me, versed in the reagents, reactions, and please; I am much engaged."
equations of the making and marketing of Now this was the tenth time I had goods. repeated scenes of this sort, one after an- “You're on the right track, as usual," other, in rapid succession. I relate the Higgins said. “There are always more Fillmore conversation merely because it is ways than one to do a thing. Most men typical of them all. It illustrates two lay too much stress on cash and too little things: first, the desperate financial situa- on their own inventive ability.” tion that confronted not only New York "Well,” | returned, "you are always but the whole country; second, the taint inspirational, anyway, Hig; that's why I that is left on a man's career by one un- like to come and talk over these matters Successful and poorly managed under- of management with you. I know some taking. Yet my own history should be men who throw cold water on every propworth while to men who have tried and osition that is broached in their presence. failed, as I did down at Lost River. No For example, there's Hiram Brown.
commend him to you for a lead-weighted he should plan to have more than one croaker who would sink any fellow's angle to his business.
angle to his business. If he can't sell ambitions. How he ever managed to broadcloth, he should be able to turn over stick in the employ of Lombard & Hap- cheap basketcloth, for instance. If he good is more than I can imagine."
can't sell oranges, he can at least make a Higgins shrugged his shoulders. “I
drive on prunes.
No, sir; a poor man used to think Lombard had a fine organi- should not invest all his capital in a steel zation," he returned; "but now I see plant. The rich fellows can stand a shutthings differently. By the way, I saw down once in a while. They can take him yesterday — met him down near their vacations then and go to Europe.” Liberty Street, coming out of a bank. He I had expanded my selling space at looked sick, and worried: I shouldn't be Junction Square, under the pressure of surprised if he, too, were on the still hunt the good times preceding the panic; but for cash. I imagine these panic times now I had almost double the space I have hit the old firm pretty hard."
needed. Space is expensive when it “No doubt,” said I; “how could it be isn't being used profitably, but unforotherwise, with such fellows as Hi Brown tunately a merchant can't chop his store on his staff? I tell you, Hig, Lombard & in the middle, as he can his payroll. Hapgood will have to remodel their whole I took a little trip up into New England organization policy if they hope to per- and visited a lot of manufacturers. Some petuate themselves."
of them made underwear; some, houseI recalled the remark Joel Langenbeck hold utensils like frying pans, clotheshad once made to me, and I repeated it to wringers, and ash shovels; some made Higgins -- that the house of Lombard & wearing apparel of the less expensive Hapgood would not survive a year were varieties. Every one of them, however, Lombard himself to drop out.
turned out some article of necessity, not of I bade Higgins good-day and went over luxury. I skipped all the luxury plants to Great Jones Street to see Langenbeck. for the time being. Before taking any important step I usually At Providence I introduced myself to a consulted him. His judgment, I had found, big, sad-looking man named Maloney was unerring
of the Maloney Scarf & Knitting Works. “The way to beat out a panic,” he said, “Hang it all," said he, “the country "is to get out and hustle. It's just the has gone plumb to the dogs! I can't sell time to hustle, Broadhurst — when the my stuff for love or money.” Then he other fellow has gone back and laid down. showed me his stock room. The goods in I've made more money during depres- it were stacked up to the ceiling. A big sions than during many a so-called prosper- lot of jerseys caught my notice. At that ous spell. No, I don't say it's easy to do time, people were eager for these garments. it; but it can be done very often. It takes “Send the medium-priced and cheap science, and knowledge of the people, and ones down to me at New York," said I. that sort of thing. Above all, it takes “I'll take them off your hands if you'll devilish hard work and a lot of detailed give me a chance to sell them before you thinking. Some men will tell you that it send down any sight drafts. I want a takes unlimited capital. In some kinds of rock-bottom price, however — the very business this is true, no doubt. Indeed, lowest. I'm getting ready for the bigthere are many forms of business that can't gest economy sale Junction Square ever be pushed in hard times. Take a rolling- saw. There's to be no snide about it, mill, for example. All the push in the remember.” world wouldn't sell steel to a railroad that “Take them quick!” said he. was clawing off a receiver. But if a man Similar conversations took place at has only one horse in his barn, of course most of the other plants I visited, and thus he can't ride when the beast gets the glan- I came into possession of a huge quantity ders. Unless a man has capital enough to of quick-selling merchandise that filled live on during a time of general disaster, the spaces of my store to their capacitv. It was at this time, too, that I founded ments die because they don't like undigthe manufacturing end of my business. nified advertising. Neither do l. It disIn following out my plan to give the people pleases me and rubs my sense of the artistic. the best line of necessities I could handle I am an art advertiser to-day so far as at low prices, I studied, in turn, all the possible.
possible. But I tell you I meant to pull articles in common use, and viewed them through that panic if I had to turn art into in the critical light of the customers a daub of purple ink with “Broadhurst" themselves. In the course of this proced- written across it in red. I didn't give a ure I reached women's hats and bonnets. whoop for harmony of colors just then. But when I tried to find headgear that I wanted cash. met the standard of quality and inexpen- One thing I did was to organize a chorus siveness I had set, I found myself unable of twenty voices, made up from my store to do it.
organization; and every morning, exactly "Why not make up a lot of hats your- when the doors were unlocked, this chorus self?” suggested Higgins.
sang - standing on a platform at the "Done!" I exclaimed, on the instant. back of the store. The novelty of this
That was the beginning of my varied was heralded all over New York. manufacturing industry of to-day.
One of the bands played at noon, and My panic hats had no silk velvet or again from four to six every day. The aigrettes on them, I assure you, but they other band paraded the streets of my zone made an instant hit. The women had for an hour or two in the afternoon, accomto have hats despite the hard times. And panied by advertising announcements. my millinery establishment produced dis- Then for the children I had a dog and tinctive goods that were far below the cat show — and we had hard work handusual prices. It was my aim to discover ling the crowds that came to see it. As the lowest price for which I could sell them; Christmas approached, many were the thus I reversed the policy of many mer- holiday selling plans I put through. chants then and now. I can put my finger Higgins came up one December day to on establishments that are going broke see the fun, and he found it hard to get because they are trying to extract the last through the store to my office. dollar from a shy, backward public.
“I've understood from the financial My funds did not permit me to advertise columns of the newspapers that there's through expensive mediums, so I fell back absolutely no money in circulation,” he on spectacularism. I was after the com- observed. “Yet up here in your store, mon people, remember, and I went after Broadhurst, I see the money pouring over them hard. I hired two small brass bands, the counters in a thousand rivulets, like one with a drum-major; I placarded the ex- a spring freshet.” terior of my store and draped the building "That's it, exactly,” | ventured. "No from top to bottom; I flooded my zone matter how hard the times may be, Hig, with flaming circulars. All through, the there are always a million springs within theme was opportunity due to the panic. reach that will flow with real cash if they I made capital out of disaster.
are skilfully tapped.” Then I conducted some rather lurid “I just saw Pillsbury across the street," advertising at the store itself. I did many said Higgins. “He was watching the spectacular things that centred atten- crowd over here. His store was nearly tion upon me. Once get the attention of empty. That's a fine store of his, too." the public, and half the battle is won.
Yes," I agreed; “Pillsbury & Piper Yet, I would do all these things over have a splendid establishment. You know, again to-day if I found it necessary. To they've branched out a whole lot since escape bankruptcy and get on the up-grade they started. Piper didn't like the cheap again, a merchant is justified in any ad- merchandise; it rubbed him the wrong vertising that isn't fraudulent. I have way to mix with ordinary people. He small patience with those cultured gentle- thought his firm ought to go out after the men who sit back and let their establish- swells. I used to see a whole string of carriages lined up there, and one of the that is the sole cause of my present sicklast enterprises Pillsbury put through ness and trouble." before the panic was to hire a colored man “These are troublesome times," I sugand rig him up in crimson velvet. He wore gested. “But the worst of the depresa waistcoat of corded silk, and his knicker- sion is over." bockers had buckles below his knees. “The ailment of Lombard & Hapgood,” He made quite a hit with the people who he told me, “lies deeper than a panic. It came in their equipages. His job was to lies in our own organization. So long as show his teeth to them, and open the doors I had my health and was able to stay there of their carriages. But he's got a job in the store ten hours a day, things went now shoveling snow for the city. When all right. Every problem, you know, came the hard times settled down, he suffered up to me for a decision. No matter how from ennui out there on Pillsbury's side- trifling it was, Lombard had to put his walk. Now I don't mean to deprecate 0. K. on it. You know how it was when the rich as customers, Hig. When the you were there." time comes I'm going after them “I remember very well, Mr. Lombard." myself. But until a fellow gets estab- “Yes, the initiative of the whole force lished, velvet flunkies should be kept was sifted through me,” he continued, off the staff.”
"and now we have only an excuse for an “Why doesn't Pillsbury hire a brass organization. I haven't half a dozen band?" Higgins inquired.
men in the store who are big enough to “Because Piper doesn't care for any think and act for themselves. And here ! music except Wagner's - so I've heard. am, mortally ill! For several years I have Besides, swell customers won't come when seen this thing coming, but habit is strong a brass band plays. It's only the common and so long as I kept my health I also kept people who respond to Marching Through a tight rein on every little detail, from the Georgia.' That's another advantage of stock-rooms down to the delivery departhaving the great bulk of mankind on your ment in the basement. Being a czar list of customers.”
is all right so long as a man is able to wield Well, to be brief, Pillsbury & Piper the command and make his minions do his hung on until after Christmas and then will — compel them by sheer force of they gasped a few times and quit. It was character. But once let his subjects get just about this time that the panic showed the upper hand and his army filled with signs of abating.
treason, the downfall of his domain cannot In my store, however, the panic had long be delayed. When my health first abated weeks earlier. In fact, I had more
In fact, I had more began to fail, I had a tolerably firm grip on than twenty thousand dollars on hand; and things. The store was making a moderate I didn't have to use it in payment of any amount of money, despite its force of medipromissory note.
ocre thinkers. In some ways, Broadhurst,
we have always had good men and women I was sitting in my office one afternoon, at Lombard & Hapgood's — after you three years after I started my store at came to us, especially. You helped us Junction Square, when Phelps Lombard immensely, yet the things you did for us came in. I was shocked at his wasted were largely mechanical — improvements form.
in methods, rather than development of “You have overworked tremendously,” people. But men are hard to get, Broadsaid I. “For twenty years you have hurst – good human material is amazcarried the weight of your business practi- ingly rare.” cally alone. You must take a rest."
“It is not especially difficult to get the I got up and placed a chair for him. raw material,” said I. “To pick up the
“Broadhurst,” he said, as I resumed my finished product, I admit, is one of the own seat, “you have hit the situation most difficult things in merchandising. I aptly. What you say is true: I have have solved the problem by developing the carried my business practically alone, and material myself.”
"I know it,” said Lombard. "I know that man is Dawes. Then there's Jack it full well. I have watched you grow, and Gallagher —” I could see how you did it. At first I was “My advertising man once!” said surprised when you went along and got Lombard. bigger and bigger. I had expected to see "It was Gallagher," Tom went on, you repeat the incidents of Lost River. "who hit on the best schemes of our hardBut when you kept on growing, and moved times campaign. He got big results. across the Square to this building, and Then there's Joe Ewing still grew and absorbed more and more of “Tell Mr. Lombard about old Dan the space you had wisely provided for, I Garrett," I suggested. began to study you with close analysis. "Old Dan," he explained, "was a meThen it was that I understood.”
chanic who worked around the elevator Just then Tom Pennypacker entered my machinery in the basement. One day he private office, not knowing that Lom- came into the store and showed me a bard was there. He paused when he design he had drawn for a cheap sewingsaw his former employer, and the pity machine. He wanted to know what I in his eyes was manifest.
thought of it. Well, now, that machine, “I did not mean to intrude,” he apolo- Mr. Lombard, is one of our big sellers togized, and backed away. But I called day. We have cut the price of the next him in again.
cheapest machine more than 40 per cent., “Tom," said I, "Mr. Lombard has just and still we are making money on it. I been complimenting our organization. tell you, we want ideas that will make Tell us, please, what you consider the profits for us, and we don't care whether real secret of our success here at Junction those ideas come from the top of our Square.”
organization or the bottom." Tom Pennypacker was now my general Tom was in a hurry to get back to his manager, and under him was a force of office, so I excused him. For a minute two hundred clerks. The business had Lombard was silent, and sat looking out expanded faster than I had dreamed, and of the window on the busy scenes of Juncwas now a semi-department store, though tion Square. Three years had quite transit still carried cheap merchandise to a formed the Square into a metropolitan large extent. We occupied the whole of maze. It was surrounded now by modern the ground floor, as well as the basement buildings, and a restless horde of people and parts of two floors above. The panic moved up and down and across it. Trucks, and depression had helped us, instead of cabs, and private equipages kept two trafretarding us, because we had carried fic policemen busy. necessities and had pushed them. And as “Broadhurst,” Lombard said, finally, a far-sighted adviser and keen deducer of with something of an effort in his voice, coming markets, Tom was especially able. "Broadhurst, I've got a proposition to
“Well,” said he, answering my query make to you. I'll put it in as few words as and addressing Lombard, "the chief possible: I want you to consolidate your secret of our success lies in the men back of business with that of Lombard & Hapgood. it. Mr. Broadhurst, you know, is a special- I want you to move our store up here to ist in the development of an organization. Junction Square, after you have built Take Bob Dawes, for instance —" suitable quarters, and take the whole
“Another of my men!” groaned Lom- combined enterprise in charge. I want bard.
you to run it-you and your organization." “Yes, he worked for you at one time, I sat silent — overawed for a minute. true enough. Bob is our sales manager Quickly my memory traveled back over now. Mr. Broadhurst believes that a the years to the day I came to New York retail business has just as much need of a the first time. For a few moments I quite sales manager as a wholesale house lost myself in the events of my coming. and why not? And I tell you, Mr. Lom- It seemed scarcely more than a step into bard, if ever a man knew how to sell goods, the past — when I walked up Broadway