WEATHER FROM OUR SPONSORS
When in-laws and cousins and other relations arrive and after all the catching up is done, here’s a recommendation: a trip to The Brinton Museum in Big Horn. Free admission during its annual holiday show that will run through Dec. 22.
The current exhibition features the art of Tony Hochstetler, Allan Mardon, Joel Ostlind. Good stuff, this.
Info: 672-3173; thebrintonmuseum.org.
Twenty shopping days ‘til Christmas. Then there’s 19, then 18 and so forth.
The slogan is a common tradition in American marketing.
So what was the first store to use it? Marshall Field in Chicago. The genius who is credited with its origin is Harry Gordon Selfridge (1858-1947). Selfridge started in the stock room, was promoted often until he became the store’s marketing director and later, the manager of Marshall Field, his retail home for 25 years. He married a wealthy woman and then opened his own big store in London in 1909.
The PBS network has celebrated his life with a dramatic series and a second season of episodes to begin next year. Selfridge is also credited with the retail chestnut: “the customer is always right.”
Selfridge turned retailing on its ear when he opened the store. He purchased page after page of newspaper advertising. Customers were welcomed into the store and the merchandise was open and available. Celebrities of the day — actors, aviators, adventurers — were brought into the store and promotions were tied to their appearances. He created restaurants inside the store and “quiet” rooms for customers and reading rooms as well. The intent was to keep the customer in the store as long as possible.
One other notable change: cosmetics and perfumes, once hidden away, were brought up front; they were the first displays customers experienced walking through the door; nowadays, this marketing ploy is common. Back then, Selfridge wanted some relief from the animal and manure smells from the street and believed the customers would feel the same way. A store that smelled good added to the shopping experience.
Incidentally, Estee Lauder was the first to offer “free gift” with purchase, beginning in 1962.
3 rules of successful holiday retailing
1. Give the lady what she wants.
2. Give the lady what she wants.
3. Give the lady what she wants.
— E. Rudolph Williams, Leggett Stores executive, WWII P-51 pilot, friend
An Amish farmer, walking through his field, notices a man drinking from his pond. The farmer shouts: “Trink das wasser nicht. Die kuhen haben dahen gesheissen.”
(Translation: “Don’t drink that water; the cows poop in it!”)
The man shouts back, indignantly: “This is America, you blasted foreigner! Can’t you speak English?”
The Amish farmer replies. “Yes, of course. I said, ‘Use both hands, you’ll get more.’”
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
— ee cummings, American poet, 1894-1962