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Official Publication of the National Retail Credit Association 
National in Name---International in Scope 

December, 1936 — Vol. XXV, No. 3 
KANSAS CITY—At the Crossroads of America! 

Located in the “Heart of America,” Kansas City combines the conser- 
vatism of the East and the “rarin’-to-go” enthusiasm of the West in a perfect 
blend. Its credit association is 100 per cent National, with many coordinated 
group units: The Credit Analysis Club, a Credit Women’s Breakfast Club, 
as well as professional and rental credit groups. 

Photograph courtesy of The Merchants Association of Kansas City. (Used each month on the cover of that 
association’s monthly magazine, “The Shoppers’ Guide.” ) 

won't you send 
us a check— 

Thank You! 

ia Please Pa 

NOW that we've 
reminded you, 

1. “Standard” 

Five in the series, exact size as 
shown (upper half of this page), 
printed in two tones of blue on 
gummed white paper. 

Prices, 1,000 of any one sticker, 
$2.00; 1,000 assorted, $2.50; 500 as- 
sorted, $1.50. 

| Just to 
|) Remind You-- 

6) that this account 
( has probably been 
overlooked and 



we'll appreciate 
your remittance. 

Thank You! 

Oe FOO eee [wae] 
— SS soe 

Hour Remittance- | 

for this past due 
account will be 
We'll be watch- 
ing for it! 

Many Thanks! 

Pe eeeeees esses sesessesesees 


“Good Credit— 

is worth more than all the 
gold mines in the world,’’ 
said Webster. 

Prompt Payment Builds 
Good Credit—‘W orth 
More Than Gold” 



as ot in aR 


A Friendly 

As this account is overdue, 
your remittance will be 
greatly appreciated. ’ 
Prompt Payment Builds 
Good Credit—‘Worth 
More Than Gold” 

© 1934 

2. “Gold” 

An outstanding series—rich and 
dignified looking: Printed in royal 
blue, on special gold paper. Five 
in series (shown on lower half of 
this page). Actual size, 134” x2”. 
(Dotted lines are not part of stick- 
ers but are only “size indicators.’’) 

Order Either Series from Your 
Credit Bureau or—National Retail 

Credit Association, 1218 Olive St., 
St. Louis. 


We know how easy it is to 
forget. Won't you send it 
now—please—while you have 
it in mind? 

Prompt Payments Build 
Good Credit—“Worth 
More Than Gold” 

© 1934 N.R.C.A. 
eteeneeil ea 


Keep Your Credit 
As “Good As Gold”! 

Prompt payment of accounts. 
according to terms, will build 
a priceless credit record— 

“Worth More Than Gold” 



See ee ee eee eee eee eae eeeee 

Lee eee eee eee ee eee eee eo 

Past Due! 

Prompt payment of this ac- 
count is necessary to protect 
your credit record, 

Safeguard Your Credit— 
It’s “Worth More Than 

© 1934 N.R.C.A, 
| ae 

Lace e eee eee ae eee eee eee eeee 

2 geen eens 


(Registered U. S. Patent Office.) 
Official Magazine of the NATIONAL ReTatL CREDIT ASSOCIATION 

December, 1936 Vol. XXV No. 3 


1218 Olive Street St. Louis, Missouri 

is Th Ro ccnenierinincntsevcnitisaiabigpsitiiagnedan Editor 
DANIEL J. HANNEFIN-.----------- Managing Editor 
GE Fly. Si cemennnesnnns Research Director 
2S. rere re reer Circulation Manager 
ee i NE ice dcuscadecandawh eaeen Advertising Manager 
R. Preston SHEALEBY.............-- Washington Representative 

Advertising Representatives 

THomas W. FARRELL......... 180 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 
Wu.iam J. Devaney, INc.....420 Lexington Ave., New York 


Editorial Comment 2 
Soft Merchandise! Budget Plan! Letters of 
Credit! 4 
Successful Selling—On the Budget Account 
Plan 6 
October Trends—A Fast- Reading Review _ 10 
Retail Dairy Credits—1900 to 1936 12 
District Conferences In the Offing 13 
After Christmas—W hat Then? 14 
The Nation’s Collection Percentages—Octo- 
ber, 1936, Versus October, 1935 16 
The Effect of Governmental-Insured Credit 
on Retailers’ Terms 18 
Credit Department Letters a 20 
A Little Rhyming Now and T hen— 22 
Local, State and National Membership Drives 
In Texas 23 
Credit News Flashes—Personal and Other- 
wise _ - 24 
A Suggested Program for “Pay Promptly” 
Advertising and Publicity 26 
“Let’s Advertise!” 27 
The Membership Drive Goes Forward “On 
All Fronts” oC wy ak co ee 
The Credit Clinic - 30 
Who Says the Credit Man Is Not Sales- 
Minded? mes bak; t,t Oe 

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please notify us promptly of any change 
of address so that you may not miss any issues. With your new 
address it is absolutely necessary that you also send us your 
old one. Entered as second-class matter at the Post Office at 
St. Louis, Mo., under the Act of March 3, 1879. Published 
Monthly. Subscription, $2.00 a year, to members of the National 
Retail Credit Association only. 

This publication carries 
authoritative notices 
and articles in regard 
to the activities of the 

In all other respects the 
Association cannot be 
responsible for the con- 
tents thereof or for the 
National Retail Credit statements or opinions 
Association. of writers. 

Copyright, 1936, by National Retail Credit Association 



Age-Old Wish! 

a again brings the welcome op- 

portunity to extend to each and 
every one of our members that age- 
old wish of the Christmastide— 

A Merry Christmas 

A Gappu New Year! 

FTEN, throughout the year, in 
the stress and strain of business, 
we long for better acquaintance—for 
the privilege of knowing, intimately, 
those who make up our membership. 



encouragement during the current 
year have earned our lasting grati- 


F COURSE, we cherish the hope 
(each of us) that, some day, we 
may be able to thank you in person— 
to meet you and call you “Friend”! 


NTIL then, though, we must con- 

tent ourselves with tendering you, 
through these pages, that old wish 
that never grows old: A Merry 
Christmas to You and Yours and a 
Happy New Year! 

Che National Office 

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: : 
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2 z 
2 Pd 
2 2 
z 2 
z 2 
z 2 
2 2 
2 2 
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i OU who have helped us, by your z 
5 suggestions, your advice and your e 
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From the Pens of Other Editors 

How Will We Use Credit? 

(An editorial in the “Milwaukee Journal”— 
Milwaukee’s Leading Daily— 
November 16, 1936.) 

REDIT aids buyer and seller and stabilizes 
the flow and consumption of goods. But 
credit, unwisely used, may become the octo- 

pus that drags both creditor and debtor to the 
depths of insolvency. L. S. Crowder, General 
Manager-Treasurer of the National Retail Credit 
Association, therefore is right when he now warns 
merchants not to over-extend credit and tells us 
to remember that “too great an extension of credit 
during the boom days was one of the factors that 
led to the collapse of 1929.” 

Consider the course of many an American fam- 
ily: It bought a car, or perhaps two, on credit. It 
traded in “the old bus” as a down payment and 
assumed monthly instalments for the balance. 

It bought a radio on similar terms. It perhaps 
refurnished its home on the time-payment basis. 
It acquired mechanical refrigeration, laundry ma- 
chinery, automatic heating, maybe fur coats, 
jewelry and silverware, all on the same easy-pay- 
ment terms. No one of these purchases would 
have overstrained the resources of this family. 
But, with easy credit running against a dozen bills, 
the family found itself in 2 morass of monthly 
payments quite beyond its financial capabilities. 

So there were defaults. Individuals and fam- 

ilies came to legal or virtual bankruptcy. They 
were withdrawn from the consumer market and 
rendered impotent as buyers of new goods because 
they were tied, by too-easy credit terms, to old 
. Out of this came some share of the national de- 
pression. Out of it, too, came a nation-wide wail 
against creditors. This protest was, of course, 
quite unreasonable from one viewpoint—the credi- 
tors, for the most, had honestly provided the goods 
and openly laid down the terms of payment. Yet 
there was some measure of justice in it. 

Creditors who grant “easy terms” without in- 
quiring into how many prior claims, under other 
easy-payment contracts, the debtor already has as- 
sumed, arent wisely using the credit structure. 
They deserve what they get if the structure col- 
lapses under the overload. 

So Mr. Crowder’s warning to merchants is 
timely. We should, of course, use credit. A 



proper volume of instalment buying is beneficial. 
There is no objection to time payments or easy 
terms within sound limits, but the American peo- 
ple undoubtedly got themselves more deeply into 
the depression by their overload of time pay- 
ments and perhaps got themselves out of it by not 
buying for awhile, paying up, defaulting and writ- 
ing off some of this debt load. It would be sheer 
folly to go right back to the old, overweighted 
credit situation again, and it is largely up to mer- 
chants to prevent that eventuality. 


Guarding the Nation’s Profits 

Extracts from an editorial by Henry H. Heimann, Execu- 
tive Manager, National Association of Credit Men, in 
“Credit &£ Financial Management,’ November, 1936. 

There are still those in industry who think of their 
credit department in negative terms. The credit de- 
partment is and should be a positive department. It 
should be the most potent influence for business develop- 
ment in any organization. ‘The credit department, in 
the final analysis, is the guardian of the profits of the 
business. And profits, let it be emphasized, are only 
potential profits until they are completely realized. 

The modern credit manager does more than merely 
reduce losses and collect accounts. He analyzes condi- 
tions . . . he appraises his customer; he develops a com- 
plete picture of his customer’s credit habits. . . 

The modern credit manager is vitally interested in 
legislation. He knows his guardianship of profits de- 
pends upon sound credit legislation. He knows also that 
from the moment he assures the position of credit man- 
ager of his company he has enrolled in a practical univer- 
sity from which he will never graduate. To keep abreast 
of the times he constantly educates himself. He is thus 
a vital force in the erection of standards against unsound 
credit legislation, an architect planning and building 
sound credit structures. 

~~ er 

City Nationally Recognized 

(An editorial from the Fort Lauderdale {Fla.| “Daily 
News’—November 16, 1936.) 

Lauderdale received more excellent national publicity 
yesterday when the National Retail Credit Association 
released figures to show that this city showed a 25 per 
cent improvement in retailers’ collections over the com- 
parable period a year ago, leading the nation. 

This is substantial publicity that reaches a substantial 
people who have the money to invest in Lauderdale’s 
future. Such figures are accepted by substantial people 

(Continued on page 31.) 


The Bureau Telautographs a Report 


and the Store Receives It THEN 



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ee — AR) /00 FLAa. ata 

407° Yo. BOL 
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Ask for G. B. 36 and Send for Our Man Now! 

This message (a “Speci- 
men” report) was written on 
a Telautograph instrument 
installed at The Retail Mer- 
chants Association, Tulsa, 
Oklahoma. As it was being 
written at the bureau offices, 
a perfect facsimile was ap- 
pearing at the credit depart- 
ment of a department store 
several blocks distant, and 
only one person’s time was 
required because the ma- 
chine at the store received 
the message without the aid 
of anyone. 

Thus, the bureau and the 
store profited—not only in 
saving the time of one em- 
ployee but the credit 
granter at the store received 
perfect authorization to open 
an account immediately 
which, of course, increased 
sales for that day. The rec- 
ord shown on the left side 
of this page is an indelible 
one and cannot be altered 
either at the bureau or the 


This system with a slow 
messenger service (with 
carbons easily altered or 
blurred in transit) or an oral 
means of communication 
requiring the time of two 
people to send and receive 
with no record which means 
extra expense and no assur- 
ance because of the chances 
of shifting responsibility 
after the merchandise has 
left the store. 

In the Past 30 Days 
3 Stores in San Diego, 
Calif., Ordered Store- 

to-Bureau Service! 

34 Bureaus 
Connected to 183 Stores! 

Our Service Charges Are 

About $1.00 Per Day for 

Each Store Connected 
to the Bureaus 

No Obligation—of Course 


16 West Sixty-First St., New York City 

Factory and General Offices: 

Soft Merchandise! Budget Plan! Letters of Credit! 

Of the Credit Staff of the Broadway Department Store, Los Angeles, Calif. 

, 7 HAT do these words mean? Seemingly they 
are of tremendous importance these days, for 
since the National Convention in Omaha last 
June, Mr. S. E. Edgerton, Credit Manager of the 
Broadway Department Store, has received many letters 
of inquiry on this type of credit selling. As he went 
down (figuratively) for the last time under an engulfing 
wave of correspondence this morning, topped by a letter 
bristling with ????’s from a credit executive in Ten- 
nessee, he realized something must be done to satisfy 

So he suggested I submit an article dealing with our 
method of selling “soft merchandise” on a budget plan. 
The reason Mr. Edgerton is not writing this article him- 
self is due to his belief that he might be overzealous 
toward this plan of selling and any remarks he might 
make would be too enthusiastic. 

Former credit requirements, with which you are all 
familiar, have been satisfactory in meeting the demand 
for credit until recently. To adjust the old régime to the 
new trend, our credit policy has had to assume a new 
flexibility. We have met this change with our “Letter 
of, Credit.” 

This method was evolved to meet the demand of the 
customers who had character, moderate capacity, but lit- 
tle capital. We know it is difficult to refuse this type of 
applicant on open account. 

However, as these are customers we wish to accom- 
modate, we have found it advisable to place the appro- 
priate account at their disposal. Our plan is simple and 
it can be definitely controlled. 

First, let me say that, in all cases, an application is 
taken in the regular way—and a report obtained from 
our credit association. We do not open these accounts 
promiscuously or in a haphazard manner. However, 
more consideration is given with regard to permanency 
of employment, salary and past paying records (where 
such records are available) rather than to ownership of 
property, bank account, etc., which to us, in most in- 
stances, would be a necessary requirement when opening 
a regular charge account. 

A contract is signed wherein the customer agrees to 
make stipulated monthly payments. If the account is 
opened, a small “Letter of Credit” card is given to her. 
On the reverse side of this card is designated the amount 
to which she is permitted to charge. 

This card is presented to the salesperson each time a 
purchase is made. The salescheck must be signed by the 
customer and the card sent with the salescheck to the 
authorizers who enter the amount of the purchase on the 
card, deducting it from the last balance shown thereon. 
In this way the customer has an up-to-date record of the 
exact amount she still may spend. 

A “Letter of Credit” can be purchased in any amount 
from $15.00 to $100.00. The minimum monthly pay- 
ment is $5.00. Carrying charges are computed at the 
rate of one-half of 1 per cent per month for the life of 


the contract, on the balance of the account after a down 
payment of 20 per cent has been made. 

In the event full payment is made in thirty days the 
carrying charge is credited. The time limit on any con- 
tract is not to exceed six months. No additionals are 
granted on the original contract, nor do we issue a sec- 
ond “Letter of Credit” until full payment has been re- 
ceived on the existing agreement. 

The customer may buy any type of merchandise. How- 
ever, if “hard merchandise” is purchased we still prefer 
to make arrangements on a regular lease, which allows 
more liberal terms and at the same time reserves our 
right of repossession. 

The thought placed with the customer is that she alone 
controls the spending—we control the method of pay- 
ment—and payments must be made on the dates specified, 
regardless of whether or not the “Letter of Credit” has 
been used up to the amount paid in. This eliminates mis- 
understanding regarding collection. 

Our Community Credit Policy does not permit news- 
paper publicity on this plan. We are permitted to use 
direct mail advertising, but no extensive campaign has 
been carried on. 

Practically the only knowledge the buying public has 
received is from those customers who have availed them- 
selves of this convenience, or from our salespeople who 
are permitted to suggest this manner of buying. For 
this reason, we are particularly pleased with the mo- 
mentum it has gathered during its first year; and we are 
confident that, as time goes on, it will become more and 
more popular. 

This indicates an eager acceptance of the plan by our 
buying public. Our increase in good will may in part be 
credited to the fact that we have been able to accom- 
modate friends of the store who heretofore were not 
able to meet our requirements for a regular charge ac- 
count and were, therefore, forced to buy from an insti- 
tution which offered the convenience of budget terms. 

Enlightening facts: Loss incurred from bad debts (and 
collection expense) is surprisingly low. A fairly accu- 
rate count shows that three out of every five “Letters of 
Credit” represent a repeat on the plan. The number of 
“Letters of Credit” opened for our regular charge cus- 
tomers is nominal. Operation expense is no more than it 
is for regular or lease accounts. There has been no break- 
down in the term structure of our installment plan on 
“hard merchandise.” 

Of course, it is difficult to determine the number of 
buyers who have been converted from a cash basis to the 
“Letter of Credit.” Those who may have paid cash in 
the past and now use our budget plan undoubtedly feel 
more at home in “the Broadway,” and we feel we have 
made it possible for them to concentrate their purchas- 
ing in our store. 

The use of the “Letter of Credit” as an instrument 
for reestablishing accounts (providing circumstances per- 
mitted) which were formerly closed due to slow paying 


eo GO = + 

ee ee eT 


records, has been valuable. . 
have found most profitable. It has, in fact, exceeded all 
expectations. This, in itself, is sufficient reason for the 
existence and adoption of the “Letter of Credit.” 

I have not mentioned that my information relative to 
the value of this plan has been gathered from a year’s 
experience on the firing line as a credit interviewer in our 
Credit Office. I have had no experience in other depart- 
ment stores and, therefore, believe I am free from preju- 
dice ‘toward conventional thought and practice which 
might have influenced me to harbor a more hostile atti- 
tude to this type of selling. 

This type of business we 

Author’s Explanation of Forms 
Various forms used in the “Letter of Credit” 
are reproduced in the plate on this page. 
Figure 1 (Form 236 “B’’) is a “Letter of Credit” 
card which is given to the customer. ‘This card must 

accompany each purchase. On this card are entered the 
date, amount of purchase and 


(plus the carrying charge) and the payments as they are 


Figure 3 (Form 199) is the authorization card which, 
when the signature of the customer is obtained, is sent to 
the tube room. A/l the signatures on saleschecks must 
correspond with this signature, and the charge is autho- 

rized from this card. 

Figure 4 (Form 226) is the customer’s receipt book, 
which remains in her possession unless she desires to send 
In this case the 

it in with a payment through the mail. 
payment is duly entered and the book returned to her. 

Silver Anniversary—National Retail Credit Associa- 
tion—Spokane, Wash., June 15-18, 1937. Plan now to 







in the last column, the unused CLOSED 
rerse side | EW ADORESS eee SESS 
balance. On the reverse side oo Amount ot | Last Amount }-SiGNATURES OF AUTHORIZED BUYERS 
“ =) *.) 
of the “Letter of Credit” card 
are shown the number of the nee et 
account and name and address rien LOE 
of the customer. eee 
Figure 2 (Form 236 “A’’) NAME ADDRESS Limit 
is the contract signed by the weccccccnsnccocasncnooene pe cca a ssi biel eile 
customer; on this form all cred- - (3) 
its to the account in the form . 
of payments and returned mer- 
she < NAME Lome. 
chandise are entered. Posted » Gown Payee 
thereon, also, are the total oa —_—— ra 
rn ee SP i nce Cmanee 
amount permitted to be charged a ie crv (2) Bacance 
236B 3M 12-19-35 » 
Teaws Ove Day OF EACH MONTH Baoinnine 
1 : it 
2 : | 
8 6 
4 7 
5 8 
6 9 
3 10 
8 11 
9 12 
10 1. Ins. Desires 2. Int. Desits 3. JouRwaL Desits 4. Trans. Desirs 5. 
i 6. Ins. Crevits 7. Int. Creoits 6. Joumwal Crevits 9. Trans. Creoirs ©. Mose. Creoirs 
12 resid 
img at 
BROADWAY DEPARTMENT STORE, Inc. hereinafter relerred to as the buyer, desires to purchase merchandise to the amount of & ___ at 
pha go ree hageny fan Ny no referred to as the seller, and juane to pay the amount 
THEREFORE in consideration of the seller issuing a certificate of credit to the buyer in the sum of 
13 Gow the buyer agrees to pay the said sum together with a carrying charge of $__., 
14 making a total of $________ on the following terms and conditions: 
5 The sum of $..___..._ immediately and the sum 7 6 soon “the 
a day of each calendar month thereafter, until the total 
“16 uM amount of $_—__ in. pad ful 4 
w essence hereof! 
17 dg herunde ori tg ergrmane ot any condom heer the aur mays aptamer a fe 
v ww 
- purchases oxels Us inder immediately due > on oe so" vey rx ofr: obl: ae ote Ap 
action at law to collect any moneys herein 4. to be paid, the be: . c my —* 4 
attorney fees which may be incur oy® y- sag eng cencsastte 
9 THE A Fe y wp AE, if in connection with any such act 
19 eo ius oneal pA ye ledge that there are no written or oral qugeeeantaaians or agreements other 
Dated the day of 1” 
21 Witness: 
22 ' 
@BRoaoway OSPARTMENT STORE. Inc. a Se oe ee 
ALWAYS A 108 Soon wwene porwr " PAYMENTS, 


T IS an old saying that nothing undertaken is noth- 

ing gained. So it is with the installment business. 

A few years ago, the only type of stores that thought 
in installment terms were, for the most part, furniture 
stores. Now, most all stores or business places talk in- 
stallment terms. 

For years, the firm I work for has been selling mer- 
chandise of both the so-called “hard line” merchandise 
and that of what some term the “soft lines’—on the 
installment plan. 

We have not suffered any more by selling particular 
types of soft-line merchandise on the budget account plan 
(or installment account, if you want to term it that), 
than we have on the hard or lasting merchandise accounts. 

We feel that if Mrs. John Public wants to purchase one 
or two blankets on a plan that allows her more than 
thirty days to pay for the merchandise—if her credit war- 
rants it—there is no reason why we should not grant her 
a Budget Account for the particular articles selected. 

So Mrs. Public purchases her blankets and we set up 
a Budget Installment Account. She pays the required 
amount down (which would be based on the amount of 
the purchase) and if the amount is in the limit of say 
$10.00, Mrs. Public will have three months to pay for 
the blankets. 

Some may say: “Well, that runs your Credit Office ex- 
pense up, allowing your customers to put such small 
amounts on a Budget Account, rather than a thirty-day 
account.” Perhaps it does but, even so, is not this more 
than offset by the additional business we place on our 
books ? 

And remember, too, such customers, even on such a 
small amount, might prove to be very slow pay on the 
“open” type of account, taking perhaps five or six months 
to pay for the same article! On the other hand, the 
Budget Account, if properly opened, will be paid out in 
three months, exactly, according to the agreement or 
terms of the contract. 

Then again, there are some of our very best customers 
on “thirty-day” accounts, who desire to have articles they 
may purchase, at different intervals, extended on a budget 
account, rather than charged on their open account. 

Their reason is very easily explained: Incomes and sal- 
aries have been curtailed so drastically during the past 
several years that—for a great many people—it is not pos- 
sible to purchase articles that they may want for their 
homes (or even clothing, in some cases), and pay for 
them in one month’s time. 

There are many desirable installment accounts today 
purchasing just such articles on the various plans that 
each individual store may have. They are proving to be 
good payers and regular buyers, while normally, but not 


Successful Selling-- 
On the Budget Account Plan 

By A. J. KING 

Credit Manager, Scranton Dry Goods Co., Scranton, Pa. 

in all cases, they might be rather slow “open charge ac- 
count” customers. 

We have achieved some degree of success with the in- 
stallment type of account through the medium of what 
we consider a proper set-up, beginning with the opening 
of the new account, and the “follow through” until the 
final payment has been made. 

This means that, when the interviewer takes the appli- 
cation, all conditions of the purchase-contract must be 
properly explained to the customer and, after the account 
is accepted, a collection follow-up should be provided, 
automatically collecting the payments according to that 

An important factor in this collection of the installment 
account is the time limit, or the number of months allowed 
the customer to pay for the articles purchased. 

Notwithstanding the fact that we have no community 
credit policy in this city (something that the writer re- 
grets very much), our store owners do not allow the terms 
of other stores to urge them into “doing one better than 
their competitors.” We do not allow terms to sell our 
merchandise. ‘The merchandise is sold first and terms 
come after. Ours is a rigid credit policy, from which we 
rarely are permitted to deviate. 

For the past nine years we have been very successful 
in selling men’s suits and overcoats (or topcoats) on what 
we term “A Man’s Charge Account.” We require a one- 
fourth down payment on this type of purchase. No car- 
rying charge is added if paid within three months. 

(Note that I mentioned a down payment of one-fourth 
of the amount of purchase.), 

We have also been doing the same thing on ladies’ coats, 
suits and dresses, subject to the same terms. 

Some “Doubting Thomas” may say this cannot be 
done, this business of a down payment on every budget 
account of this type we open. I will grant you this, but 
I can say, also, that we have never lost one desirable ac- 
count, particularly of the men’s clothing type, because 
the purchaser was unable to make the down payment. In 
nine years of selling to men on the installment account, 
we could safely say that the accounts we have opened, 
without the down payment, could be counted on the 
fingers of two hands! 

The only accounts that we have lost from time to time, 
when the customer has had no down payment, are those 
which, after being checked through the credit bureau, 
would have been rejected for credit. 

In certain cases, the interviewer has consulted me re- 
garding a customer, who is adamant about not making a 
down payment. It is never difficult to explain the situa- 
tion to the customer’s satisfaction and suggest, at the 

(Continued on page 8.) 


Explanation of Forms: Figure 1, application blank; Figure 4 is a letter sent on installment accounts which 
Figure 2, letter sent out when account is opened—accom- are nearly paid out. (Letter and idea taken from our 

panied by copy of contract or lease. Figure 3 is an ad- friend, Dean Ashby.) One of a series of installment 

vertising slip also sent out at this time. collection letters is shown in Figure 5. 



Scranton, Pa 


- A 
eiate the prompt an 
uch we appreciate é ° A 
y in wnich you have met the peymecustomers 
which is nearly pe Wy ys 
aiKe Budget Accomm regard their business, bites ° 
ike neibility are very much apprec?® 


We want you to know how 

businesslike wa. 

you add to your Budget a! 
without your naving to me te 
nousehold needs an a 
transferring the en 

4 to have 
ula be please 
Seeene it is entirely ones Nes ee 
h payment. You may purcha Bova 
will Pnarge it to your — c m 
tire amount to & new contract. 

We gratefully 
acknowled t i 

ae ser ledge the Opening of a Budget Account 
pao “> seieanent of your account 

. ease bring this ¢ c it 
cel person, or it yee.aath ye 
pa poeta sco oe We will return contract 
whe coe pn nen Pe here is anything in the terms of 

not accordin . : 
Please notify the undersigned wives Mead gg understanding, 

is herewith en- 
you when making very truly yours, 
your payment enclose 


It is our sincer 
e hope that 
Dry Go P at you will alw 
Sivek ods Company to be of service and ee find the Scranton 
¥y satisfactory, he merchandise en- 

A, J. King, Credit Maneger 

1 O 

Wee 2 ewrewe ee eoeases:] 

Very truly yours, ome Fhe mtd — m 

Thanking you for 
this item 
extended patronage, we on of business and in advance for yo 


220 W. 40 S 
Mewece oF 



Credit will De extended. 

© L 

Do You Know As Much As You Should 
Know About The Scranton Dry Goods 
We are disappointed in not receiving a reply to out Company Deferred Payment Plan? 
previous correspondence regarding en overdue payment 
on your Budget Account amounting to F jousands of Scrantonians are ginning of the season when assortments are 
mplete. The anton Dry 
Inaemuch as you have failed to comply with our request pany Budget Plan makes it possible 
to forward your payment, the entire balance of your this end pay throughout the seaton. —° 
contract hae now become due and payable. uw may purchase furniture, rugs o 
other fur } e 5 R 
it Bureau ECONE Bedroom, Sunroom, Kitchen and Laund 
As a member of the Commercial Association Cred , res . jon end Leundry 
which is the central listing house for all credit in- = a ots, Men's ¢ ». W 
formation for Scranton and eurrounding territories, it ee soled danas Gigpanek Cox caw Gat gir 
de our custom to report all delinquent accounts to thea ment, and the bala ‘then pa 
for listing on their files and collection. Thie will ihe Galen’ weekly or monthly a 
necessitate vour name being sent in to them unlees the bine ns Se seaek Sie. at the Senta period 
balance of vour account is received immediately or businesslike aethed 6f adliag payments If you wish to open a Scranton Dry G 
definite arrangements are made to take care of the emount # of income, for these whe with to bud Cennie Siindod Recninat th wei dng s 
of your contract. get their expenditures for home improve ply inform the salesper after you ha 
nents and wearing appare selected the merchandise you d 
We trust you will make thie action unneceesery by for- so pailithies sdeetih hee havtaiad © tale cule te aa . 
warding us your remittance on receipt of thie letter. salar to bey ho ante cansse’s maply of oashs on your previews port a 
Very truly yours, ee ee ee 
a hy a 
Buffer Mirrors — 
AJK:RGS A. J. King, Credit Manager Soran _ ol i= Linen 

Weshing Mechines 

ing Indow Shades 
Furniture rigerators Women's Apparel 


Successful Selling--On the Budget 
Account Plan 
(Continued from page 6.) 

same time, that the merchandise be held until the down 
payment is completed or O.K. the transaction under the 
condition that payment be made during the ensuing month. 

Another important item in “Successful Installment Sell- 
ing” is the medium of collections. It is necessary in some 
cases to allow extensions. However, we have never taken 
the line of least resistance but were always insistent that 
our customers abide by their contracts religiously. 

We have tried to educate our customers to the fact that, 
once a contract is made, terms are rigidly enforced by us. 
Should the customer have a perfectly justifiable reason 
for extension of time, we do, of course, take the matter 
under consideration. 

Suppose Mrs. Public, who is making a payment on her 
account, decides that she will make a partial payment. 
In such instances, our cashiers have been trained to refer 
the customer to the head of the Credit Office or one of 
his assistants, to explain the “why” of the partial payment. 

In the majority of instances, Mrs. Public is loath to 
face the issue. So, rather than make embarrassing ex- 
planations, she miraculously discovers that she overlooked 
the fact that she has the amount necessary to make the 
complete payment! 

We have found that by catching an account of this type 
on the first payment it is usually paid up according to the 
agreement. We seldom experience any difficulty in col- 
lecting the balance. 

Our particular system of handling installment accounts, 
developed over a period of years, has enabled us to suc- 
cessfully maintain an average collection record of from 
19 to 23 per cent on outstanding installment accounts. 
This should be adequate proof that the system has de- 
veloped into a successful one! 

One form of procedure which has proved of material 
assistance in the collection of our installment accounts 
provides a follow-up notice to the customer, five days after 
due date of payment. Should additional notices be re- 
quired, they are mailed at 10-day intervals. 

We do not overlook the fact that many of these in- 
stallment accounts are potential customers for other pur- 
chases at all times. We reopen many of them, shortly 
after they are paid out, by giving a list of their names to 
different departments, to work on them for purchases to 
be placed on a new or reopened budget account. A check 
of our records shows that it pays to do this. 

Last month we gave one particular department of the 
store around three hundred names of closed installment 
accounts from previous months, and over 60 per cent of 
them were reopened for purchasés in that department, the 
amounts ranging from $10.00 up per account. 

In closing, may I again state that, if we have the cour- 
age, anything is possible. Our records clearly show that 
we can sell any type of merchandise on the installment 
basis—and our collection percentages and our losses prove 
that it is successful. All we need in this day and age, 
to make a success of selling on the installment plan, is to 
“dare to be a Daniel.” 


By Prominent Credit Men 

The booklet that credit managers are talking about is ““The Ten 
Hidden Losses In Slow Charge Accounts.”’ This authoritative, scien- 
tific yet practical work of Dr. Clyde William Phelps is appreciated 
not only because it “‘puts the finger’’ on losses but also offers work- 
able methods of stopping each loss. 


This new title in the Household Finance Educational library is com- 
piled by Dr. Phelps from leading authorities, acknowledging also 
assistance by many experienced retail executives. It is profusely 
illustrated, 36 pages, paper bound. Sent to you free in response to 
coupon below. Read what leading credit managers have to say about 

this new book: 

“**Ten Hidden Losses’ carries a most important message and a warn- 
ing to retailers. A copy of it should be placed in the hands of the chief 
executive of every large and small retail store in the country. 

“Few executives give any thought to anything but sales and if only 
a small percentage could receive this booklet and would read it, some 
thought might be given to this most serious matter.” 

Credit Manager, Dept. Store 


“*I think if the retailers for whom “The Ten Hidden Losses’ is intended 
read it and conduct their business accordingly, your company will 
earn their everlasting gratitude.” 

Credit Manager, Women's Wear 


“Thank you for the booklet on “The Ten Hidden Losses’ by Dr. 
Clyde William Phelps. It was very interesting and constructive, and 
written in such a manner that even those not engaged as credit man- 
agers can readily understand it. It is a booklet that should make 
many merchants and credit men,think a little deeper about what con- 
stitutes a profitable account.” 

Credit Manager, Dept. Store 


“You are to be congratulated upon having selected for your Credit 
Research work such an able authority as Dr. Phelps. The booklet 
appeals to me as being unusually helpful to the host of smaller mer- 
chants obliged to do a credit business, but whose set-up does not 
permit employing a credit sales executive. Your institution is doing 
splendid work in spreading information of the character given in 
‘The Ten Hidden Losses’.”’ 
—Credit Manager, Dept. Store 

Mail This Coupon For Complimentary Copy 
A feature of this useful book is the chapter, “‘How To Make Prompt- 
Paying Customers Out Of Your Slow Accounts.”” Under this heading 
is given a sound, workable program for educating charge customers 
to pay promptly. For free sample copy, mail this coupon TODAY. 


Room 3049-P, 919 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 
Please mail me free copy of ‘““The 10 Hidden Losses In Slow Charge 
Accounts.” This request places me under no obligation in any way. 

ee ; : ; State 




Stickers for 
“Inactive” Accounts 

Use on “blank” statements each month -- 
or as a series -- one each month 

We Missed You 
Last Month! 

Anything wrong? If 

so, please give us a 
chance to correct it. 
We Value 

Your Patronage! 
© 1934, mw. x. c. a. 

Your cAccount 
Is Balanced! 


This is just a re- 
minder that we 6 
missed you last 

Use Your 
Charge Account! 
© 1934, mw. x. c. a. 

You Don’t Owe 
Us a Cent! 


Yes! We've noticed 
it and we hope you 
will use your charge 
account this month. 

Your Patronage 
Is Appreciated! 
© 1934, mw. x. c. a. 

Ooo oo oo oe oo wr oo oe oe ee 

Exact size shown by dotted lines. Printed 
in one color. Price, $2.00 per 1,000 

National Retail Credit Association 
1218 Olive Street St. Louis, Mo. 

Special Warning! 

The United States Department of Justice has called 
our attention to several complaints that some merchants 
and credit bureaus are withholding credit information and 
continuing a policy of joint refusal to give information— 
in violation of the Consent Decree and Stipulation. 

Specific instances are mentioned of retailers who have 
returned inquiries to which they attached printed stickers 
announcing that they give information only to their 
credit bureaus. 

We have previously issued warnings against the use 
of such stickers and in each instance brought to our at- 
tention we have written the offending retailers that such 
practice may be construed as a local agreement or practice 
in the handling of direct inquiries. 

We earnestly advise every member to abide by the 
Consent Decree and the subsequent Stipulation and we 

again reproduce Conditions One and Two of the Stipula- 
tion of May 6, 1936: 

The first condition is: That all individual members, that is 
merchants, stores and the like, of the Association and the Cor- 
poration will strictly refrain from any agreement or tacit 
understanding that they will refuse to answer direct inquiries 
for credit reports and information and will abandon any agree- 
ment and understanding and concerted practice of referring all 
such direct inquiries to Credit Bureaus of the Association or 
Corporation of which they are members. 

The second condition is: That the Credit Bureaus or Agency 
members of either the Association or the Corporation will 
render credit reporting service to members and non-members 
alike without any price discrimination of any sort against 
non-members, except where the Bureau is owned or supported 
or controlled by the stores there may be a different price to 
the public, in which case, prices to the public and not to 
member stores will govern in connection with non-member 
inquiries, local, foreign and inter-bureau. 

Members -- Read! 

Important Change In Constitution 

The Twenty-Third Annual Convention of 
the National Retail Credit Association, at 
Omaha, Neb., June 18, 1936, by unanimous 
vote, adopted the following change in the 
Constitution : 

Article III, Section 3 (c). Any individual 
member or member of an affiliated Association or 
any Credit Reporting Bureau or Agency holding 
membership in this Association found guilty of 
violating the Consent Decree dated October 6, 
1933, as clarified by the stipulation dated May 6, 
1936, will be expelled. 

The guilt or innocence of the accused person, 
Bureau or Association will be determined in the 
manner prescribed in Article IV. 

Complaint filed with the Association at its exe- 
cutive offices by the United States Department of 
Justice shall be prima facie evidence of guilt. 

It shall be the duty of the Manager-Treasurer 
to promptly prefer charges in conformity to Ar- 
ticle IV against any member reported to have 
violated the Consent Decree when such report is 
accompanied by satisfactory evidence. 

Members: Read thoroughly and be gov- 
erned accordingly. Violation means expul- 

—L. S. Crowper, 
General Manager-Treasurer. 

\ YY, 

DECEMBER, 1936 9 

October Trends--A Fast-Reading Review 

.. The barometer of retail business --a nation-wide cross section of facts and opinions on retail collections 
and credit sales for October, 1936, as compared with October, 1935, compiled by 
Research Division -- National Retail Credit Association... 

ing October, with conditions in the shoe industry favor- 
an almost universal “pick up” able. 
in employment—higher prices for farm products: 

ness conditions 

A NATION-WIDE improvement in general busi- 

Collections and credit sales continued to increase in 
the New York and Pennsylvania area. . . .Pittsburgh re- 
ported a general improvement in industry which is run- 
ning above 90 per cent of normal, with employment con- 
ditions greatly improved. Workers received 25.0 per 
cent more wages for the first nine months of 1936 than 
for the corresponding period of 1935. The continued 
full-time working schedule at the coal mines and coke 
manufacturing plants resulted in an increase of 9.0 per 
cent in collections and 11.0 per cent in credit sales in 
Uniontown, Pa. 

these, again, are the reasons given for the increases of 
5.3 per cent in collections and 14.1 per cent in credit 
sales for October above October, 1935. 

High-Lights for October 
62 Cities reporting. 
17,615 Retail stores represented. 

53 Cities reported increases. 
5.3% Was the average increase for all 

Collections increased 25.0 per cent in Fort Lauder- 
“ti dale, Fla.—the highest percentage of all the cities report- 
cities : ° ae 6 

: . ing—due to continued building activity and no unemploy- 
25.0% Was the greatest increase (Fort pons "Shy : nig 
ment. ‘People have had time to catch up on their old 

Lauderdale, Fla.). : “ 
accounts and there are practically no able-bodied men 

3 Cities reported no change. ; : 
without steady incomes now. 

6 Cities reported decreases. 
4.0% Was the greatest decrease (Provi- Abilene, Kan., reported collections for October de- 
dence, R. I.). creased considerably under October, 1935. . . . Both col- 
CREDIT SALES lections and credit sales increased 10.0 per cent in El 
a : Dorado, Kan., due to increased employment and exten- 

60 Cities reported increases. 

: sive building operations. . . . Increases in collections and 
14.1% Was the average increase for all pean . hay te “0 : , 
cities credit sales in Joplin, Mo., were also attributed to im- 

36.0% Was the greatest increase (Decatur, provement in the employment situation. . . . Credit sales 

Ill.). in St. Louis increased 25.0 per cent over October, 1935. 

2 Cities reported no change. Increases in credit sales were noticed mostly in staple 
(eae No cities reported decreases. merchandise. Good Christmas business is expected. 

Credit sales increased 36.0 per cent in Decatur, IIl., 

due to increased business and better prices for farm 

Augusta, Me., reported collections and credit sales un- products, while collections remained unchanged. . . . In- 
changed. Retail business held its own in spite of un- creased employment, higher wages, brought a jump in 
seasonable weather. Working conditions seem to be a credit sales of 24.i per cent in Evansville, Ind... . In- 

little better—business seems more stable. . . . Manchester, 
N. H., reported retail business had held fairly steady dur- 

creased credit sales and colblections—for all cities report- 
ing from Michigan and Ohio—were attributed to (1) 


.. The Trends--At a Glance 
Average Monthly Percentage Increase Over Same Month of Previous Year 

a Coe Sale SINE ECan 36 meme 

e ? — - - -* 

OK ing — eee feta ieee 

eT ees i ee ee. 

ti ae 
sr ve it ie - ~~ == 
— a= -~ - ag a 
0 l | | | | | ] | l | | 


fall spending; (2) harvest’ time; (3) factories working 
on full schedule; and (4) increased employment. 
Normal increases in collections and credit sales were 

reported in the Jowa and Ne- 
braska area. 

Credit sales in Tulsa, Okla., 
increased 16.0 per cent for Oc- 
tober—one men’s clothing store 
reporting an increase of 31.0 
per cent. . . . Collections and 
credit sales continue to increase 
in Texas. Breckenridge, how- 
ever, reported collections a little 
slow “due to the election and 
warm weather.” 

Canon City, Colo., reported 
an increase in collections due to 
better employment conditions, 
higher prices for local fruit 
crop and “all thirty-five coal 
mines working full time.” 
Several large road contracts 
have been let in the surround- 
ing territory. . . . Retail trade 
in Denver was reported good 

during October and a large Christmas business is antic- 


Lewiston, Ida., reported collections up 12.5 per cent 


Pouring the Foundation 


—Courtesy St. Louis Star-Times 

due to additional employment and better prices for farm 
Merchants seem to be in a better financial 
condition, making it possible to extend more credit to 

their customers. 

Collections decreased 0.3 per 
cent in San Francisco, Calif., 
while credit sales increased 13.9 
per cent during October. .. . 
Credit sales in Santa Barbara, 
Calif., remained unchanged due 
to the election. 

An improvement in general 
business conditions and an in- 
crease in employment also af- 
fected collections and credit 
sales in Canada. Victoria, B. 
C., and London, Ont., reported 
their increases due to these two 

Death of Mrs. Weinstein 

As we go to press, we learn 
of the death of Mrs. Weinstein, 
wife of Mike Weinstein, Credit 

Manager of Foley Bros. Dry Goods Company, Houston, 

Texas. The National Office extends sincere sympathy to 

Mr. Weinstein in his bereavement. 

Comparative Reports--By Cities--October, 1936, vs. October, 1935 

Increase F Increase Increase , Increase 
District and City Collec- or Credit or District and City Collec- or Credit or 
tions Decrease Sales Decrease all tions Decrease Sales _ Decrease 
1. Augusta, Me. Fair No chg Fair No chg. Toledo, Ohio Good +17.0 Good +20.0 
Boston, Mass. Good + 2.6 Good eee Milwaukee, Wis. Good + 2.1 Good ae 
Lynn, Mass. Good + 3.2 Good Vinx ___ Average Good + 4.0 Good +18.3 
Worcester, Mass. Fair +46 Fair +... 7. Cedar Rapids, Ia. Good +45 Good + 7.0 
Manchester, N. H. Fair + 5.0 Fair + 2.0 Davenport, Ia. Good +14 Good py 
Pawtucket, R. I. Good + 6.6 Good +14.6 Des Moines, Ia. Good + 1.5 Good Pics 
Providence, R. I. Fair — 4.0 Good +10.1 Duluth, Minn. Good +25 Good ex. 
Average Fair +26 Good + 6.7 _ St. Paul, Minn. Fair -2.0 Fair et 
2. New York, N. Y. Good + 4 Good eee Omaha, Neb. Good + 5.0 Good ee 
Syracuse, N. Y. Good + 2.5 Good +10.0 Average Good + 2.1 Good + 7.0 
Utica, N. Y. Fair + 5.0 Fair + 4.0 8. Tulsa, Okla. Good +1.5 Good  +16.0 
Erie, Pa. Good + 2.0 Good + 9.5 Amarillo, Tex. Good +10.5 Good +10.0 
Pittsburgh, Pa. Good +11.0 Good +14.0 Austin, Tex. Good +12 Good +30.0 
Reading, Pa. Good Nochg. Good + 5.0 Borger, Tex. Good + 7.0 Good + 8.0 
Uniontown, Pa. Good + 9.0 Good +11.0 Breckenridge, Tex. Fair oe Fair ee 
Average Good + 4.9 Good + 8.9 Fort Worth, Tex. Good + 4.0 Good +29.1 
3. Charleston, W. Va. Fair + 4.0 Good +14.0 meng gg — +10.9 Good +23.2 
4. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Good 425.0 Good +200 oy Oy tan ao ao 
Jacksonville, Fla. Good +10.0 Good +10.0 4 - : 
Jackson, Miss. Good 418.0 Good +25.0 9. Canon City, Colo. Good +72 Good Five 
; ad —s-¥18.3 Denver, Colo. Good +1L$ Good +13.5 
Sowers Cool _ +47.) _ evs Salt Lake City, Utah Good 16 Good +755 
5. Abilene, Kan. Slow -... Fair +... — see — pe... - ° 
El Dorado, Kan. Good +10.0 Good +10.0 Cheyenne, Wyo. Fair +10.0 Fair +10.0 
“ ’ Torrington, Wyo. Good +10.0 Good +10.0 
Lexington, Ky. Good +15.0 Good +20.0 fees endl + $4 Good +10.2 
Joplin, Mo. Fair +104 = Fair + 4.0 ae - 00 . 
St. Louis, Mo. Good + 2.0 Good 425.0 10. Lewiston, Ida. Good +12.5 Good +17.5 
: : Spokane, Wash. Good + 1.3 Good Pia 
Nashville, Tenn. Fair + 3.3 Good +23.2 
Average Fair + $.1 Good +16.4 Walla Walla, Wash. — +10.0 Good +24.5 
& Decatur, Til Fair Noche. Good +36.0 Average Good +79 Good +210 
Joliet, Ill. Good +... Good +... 11. San Francisco _ Gat - 5 Gai «sas 
Evansville, Ind. Fair +1.0 Good +24.1 Oakland, Calif. — : 
Bay City, Mich. Fair + 1.0 Good + 2.0 Santa Barbara, Calif. Good + 2.0 Fair No chg 
Detroit, Mich. Good +5.6 Good +28.1 Average Good + 8 Good +69 
Grand Rapids, Mich. Good + 4.0 Good +15.0 12. Vancouver, B. C. Good + 3.5 Good ces 
Mount Clemens, Mich. Fair + 1.0 Good + 1.5 Victoria, B. C. Good +10.0 Good + 8.0 
Cincinnati, Ohio Good + $3 Good +19.6 London, Ont. Fair +10.0 Fair +12.0 
Cleveland, Ohio Good + 3.2 Good ee Average Good + 7.8 Good +20.0 





Retail Dairy Credits--1900 to 1936 

Credit Manager, St. Louis Dairy Co., Saint Louis, Mo.; President, Associated 
Retail Credit Men of St. Louis 

at that time, I was in no way connected with credit 
work), there was really no (so-called) credit de- 
partment in our company. 

| N 1900, when I entered the dairy industry (although, 

Very little credit was given in those days on monthly 
charge accounts. About 80 per cent of our business was 
on a cash basis. “Milk tickets” were sold for cash in 
advance—so many tickets for one dollar—redeemable in 
dairy products. 

If the customer bought only one quart or pint of milk 
daily (which was about the limit during that period), 
she would purchase one dollar’s worth of tickets at a 
time. If she bought more, such as milk, cream and but- 
ter, she would purchase two or three dollars’ worth of 

Because of the insanitary condition of the tickets (be- 
ing handled by both customer and deliveryman) we dis- 
continued this system about 1910. I am reminded of 
those tickets by the cardboard discs now used in collection 
of the Missouri Sales Tax. 

About that time, we inaugurated the coupon book sys- 
tem: These books varied in amounts ($1.00, $2.00 and 
$5.00) and in colors: ‘‘White,” to be sold to customers 
who had charge accounts—and “red” to be 

“poor-pay” neighborhoods we still sold them for cash). 
In the better-paying districts, however, we opened up 
monthly charge accounts for such customers as we thought 
wert responsible; or, if they so desired, weekly accounts 
on which they could pay our man each week, with the 
understanding that no bills would be rendered from our 

About this time we introduced what is called the 
“House Record Card” (Figure 1). One of these was 
supplied each month to each of our customers, if desired. 

Some did not want them, as they bought practically the 
same each day, and their accounts ran uniform through- 
out the year. Others insisted on having them to check 
with their bills at the end of the month, as bills were not 
itemized but were rendered by total of purchases for the 
month. (This is still our practice—see Figure 3.) 

These cards are still in use today. They show a list 
of our products with prices of each unit and purchases 
are marked daily by either the customer or the delivery- 
man. (The coupon book system was abolished during 

In the early years, a milk deliveryman served about 
150 customers; today, he will run from 200 to 350. A 

sold for cash. Each book contained coupon 
units of one and four cents. 

(For example: If a customer bought twenty 
cents worth of merchandise, five four-cent 

— ty rs ' 

(1) November, 1936 

nam OFTICR. 1900-08 Pine 
= oe 



Complaints and Collections 
Route 719 Date 11-1-56 

116-7 ae ee fe hineabiebway 
4 REoudiie set 

CEntral 3 3900 

units were given to the deliveryman in pay- Name 
ment. ) 

®> ‘Prices Subject to Change *» 

Coreen ve s. a. (tos free) We 

Pwtecty Po 
on oa 


Name Mrs. John South 
Weg. tattes [Peer] elgwes tad se) Address 1110 No Street 
oes “ 

These books were charged to the delivery- 

wm | Ms 


~ Remarks (4) 

aed bo 

man (as he needed them): When one was — 

This party owes a three 

te|16e| He Be) 20 e184 ye |16e) 100] Ae Bbc 

sold, he would turn the money into the of- 
fice. (Naturally, those who paid cash for 
coupons were paying for their dairy products 
in advance.) 

If a deliveryman was charged, say $25.00 
for his load, when he left the plant in the 

morning, he would have to account for the - 
load as follows: By the return of coupons, — 
or cash, plus any merchandise sold to charge — 

If, by chance, he left supplies at some home 
(where the lady of the house was out): and 

| | } months ecco i 
R28 t— 
: ie rT has ’ $15.40. Call to-day for 

payment end report to Credit 

STO ~~ , : 
MER’S pp. —* 

did not receive his coupons, naturally he = ~ Return This Statement With Your Check to Credit Your Account 
would be “short” on his return to the office 2 ST. LOUIS DAIRY CO. | ro aatance ~ee 
but would collect the next day. E) ST. LOUIS — ne 
Our office record would show, daily, this 4 r DUTTER PRICES AND TELEPHONE oo 
shortage. We allowed our men a reasonable ma Churned Fresh Dail] NUMBER ON REVERSE SIDE | Toran, 
shortage but if it mounted higher, day by 26 a 
day, then one of our route foremen would go = ® . 
along with the deliveryman and audit his ) 
accounts. » 

About 1915, we decided to partially do 
away with the coupons (although in the 



~ ae on OC a oh 

record of each customer is kept by the deliveryman. Up 
to about a year ago, monthly charge accounts were trans- 
ferred from the deliveryman’s “Route Book,” twice a 
month, to the office ledger. Since that time, we have done 
away with our office ledgers entirely and have only the 
deliveryman’s record—even billing from this source. 

At the present time, about 50 per cent of our customers 
have monthly charge accounts. The balance of our ac- 
counts are on a weekly basis—collectible by the delivery- 
man. We allow our men to grant credit to anyone—for 
a week’s supply “regardless’—but expect them to collect 
every seven days. If they do not, they are held responsi- 
ble for anything left over the seven-day period and un- 
collectible. (However, if a deliveryman is in a “poor- 
pay” neighborhood, there is some concession made. ) 

For anyone applying for credit on a monthly charge 
basis, we have what is known as a “Customer’s Record” 
(Figure 2), to be filled out and returned to the Credit 
Department. When this is received, we immediately get 
a report on the applicant’s paying habits from our local 
credit bureau. If the report shows “slow pay,” the 
deliveryman is instructed to collect on a weekly basis. 

Those outside of the dairy industry have a notion that 
about all the deliveryman has to do is to set the “morn- 
ing’s milk” on the back door steps and run! This is a 
mistaken impression. 

Our deliverymen keep all records of our customers; in 
fact, they are the only contact between them and our 
company. When you consider that some routes serve 350 
homes, you can imagine the work it takes to keep a daily 
record on each one. 

Besides this, each man has to see that his daily load of 
supplies must be balanced. For example: If his “load- 
out” totals $40.90, the total charges for all his customers 
must equal this sum. If it does not, he is so much short. 
(We have a cash bond on each deliveryman, to cover any 
shortage that may occur.) 

We, in the dairy industry, in so far as getting results 
in collecting our accounts is concerned, are in a better 
position than most concerns who retail, because of the 
fact that we consider our men collectors as well as sales- 
men. ‘They cover the entire city and are in a position to 
contact our customers daily. If we want quick action on 
a past-due account, we give our deliveryman a memo- 
randum of the account (Figure 4) in the morning and 
(generally) we get a report on his return to the office in 
the evening! The result is that very little money is lost 
during the year. 

New “Commercial Laws Manual” for 1937 

The 1937 Edition of the Credit Manual of Commer- 
cial Laws (National Association of Credit Men, 1 Park 
Ave., New York City, $5.00) is ready for distribution. 
This edition contains not only all the revisions of the 
various state laws affecting trade but also a complete and 
handy summary of important new Federal laws such as 
the Robinson-Patman Price Discrimination Law; the 
Walsh-Healy Labor Law affecting all government work; 
new developments in the Federal and State Social Se- 
curity Laws; and an interpretation of the new Federal 
Tax Law as it affects general business operations. (The 
National Office will be glad to place your order for 
this book.) 


District Conferences 

In the Offing 

Four district conferences are scheduled for the month 
of February: Districts Five, Six and Seven, and a joint 
conference of Districts Two and Twelve. In addition 
to the regular programs, each district will have a business 
meeting—for the election of officers and directors and the 
transaction of such other business as may come before the 

Conference announcements follow: 

Districts Number Two and Twelve 

(District Number Two is composed of New York 
and New Jersey—Number Twelve of Delaware, Dis- 
trict of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, 
and West Virginia.) 

The Joint Conference of Districts Two and Twelve 
will be held in conjunction with the Columbia Regional 
Conference, at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D. C., 
February 8 and 9, 1937. Further information will be 
contained in the January Crepir Wor LD. 

W. A. Atkinson (W. L. Hurley Co., Camden, N. J.) 
is President of District Two while Col. Franklin Black- 
stone (Frank & Seder, Pittsburgh, Pa.), is President of 
District Twelve. 

* * ~ * 

District Number Five 
(Ohio, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada) 

Hotel Statler, Detroit, Michigan—February 15 and 
16, 1937. This will be a joint meeting of the credit 
granters and bureau managers of the District. A cordial 
invitation to attend is extended to all credit executives 
and bureau managers of the District—also to all bureau 
managers of the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and 
Wisconsin. G. W. Fischer, c/o Tuttle & Clark, De- 
troit, Michigan, is President. 

ES * e * 
District Number Six 

(Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South 
Dakota, Manitoba, Can., and Superior, Wis.) 

Blackhawk Hotel, Davenport, Iowa—February 14, 
15 and 16, 1937. It is planned to make this a “minia- 
ture National Convention.” An attendance prize is to be 
awarded to the largest delegation—based on the size of 
city and distance from the Conference city. Dean Ashby, 
c/o M. L. Parker Co., Davenport, Iowa, is President 
of the District. 

* oa * * 
District Number Seven 
(Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma) 

Biltmore Hotel, Oklahoma City, Okla.—February 22 
and 23, 1937. This will be a joint meeting with the 
bureau managers as the meeting of District Seven of the 
National Consumer Credit Reporting Corporation will be 
held concurrently. H. J. Burris, c/o John Taylor Dry 
Goods Company, Kansas City, Mo., is President of the 
Seventh District of the N. R. C. A. 


After Christmas--What Then? 

Manager of Credit Sales, Enger & Olson, Inc. (Home Furnishings), Duluth, Minn.; 
President, Associated Retail Credit Men of Duluth 

Our problem is to plan effectively for 1937 -- that wel 
may educate the slow-paying customer to pay promptly 

IGHT after Christmas would be the best time to 
take “time out” and get hold of ourselves—to out- 
line a practical working plan for the New Year— 

to adopt a definite credit and collection policy. 

I have recently read two new books by Dr. Clyde Wil- 
liam Phelps of the University of Chattanooga. The au- 
thor attempts to make us realize facts we should have 
known and makes it very apparent that we must plan 
more efficiently if our policies are to be effective—if we 
are to reduce expenses—if we are to make more money. 
May I quote four statements that are worthy of con- 
sideration, particularly as we enter a new year? 

1. “The American retailer loses far more from slow ac- 
counts than from bad debts.’”’* 

2. “The costs associated with slow accounts constitute the 
most important item in the total cost of doing a credit 

*The Ten Hidden Losses in Slow Charge Accounts by Dr. 

Clyde Wm. Phelps. Published by the Department of Research, 

Household Finance Corporation. 

3. “The costs caused by slow accounts can be practically 
eliminated by retailers, acting independently or collec- 
tively, with a resultant increase in business volume 
and profits.’’t 

4. “The total of all unnecessary expenses resulting from 
slow accounts is many times greater than the actual 
credit losses.” t 

It becomes obvious that we are not getting our full, or 
even fair, profits—that we are also losing a great part of 
the profits that we have already earned. 

There are serious defects in our credit and collection 
policies. We conduct our businesses on a basis that al- 
lows the consumer to get in “up to his neck”—and yet we 
cuss the poor devil who can’t pay all his bills! We judge 
our results only by our ultimate losses, taking little or no 
notice of the costs involved—of all the “hidden losses”* 

I wonder if, perhaps, the cost of collecting some ac- 

tMore Profits from Charge Accounts by Dr. Clyde Wm. 

Phelps. ‘Published by Department of Research, Household 
Finance Corporation. 

I. ProFir AND Loss WriTE-OFF: 
A. Amount actually written off Bevicidetuneees 
ge ei a oe a a La a Oe Oe el eee eeekew new 
2. Percentage of total credit aie eer eenwer % 
A. Collection Department salaries Micsccecusscase 
B. Telegraph, telephone, postage, etc. iceikaeirocmniround 
C. Fees to collection companies and agents eee 
D. Legal fees, etc. / ren ere 
E. Car expense, etc. ae ee ee ee eee 
III. ToraL AMOUNT OF Coun, Trp UP IN Past Des Acoums a ee re ee ae ea Peron ree 
IV. Torat INTEREST PAw For Borrowep MONEY ‘ a ee ey 
A. Could this item have been eliminated if your dees accounts had pal penta? em ey ee 
V. AmounTs Lost IN AVAILABLE Discounts Nor TAKEN ee i eee 
VI. COLLECTION PERCENTAGE For ENTIRE YEAR (AVERAGE) . . oe 6 is © aw wedeniteddess % 
You Past Dug ACCOUNTS ee, ee ie ee ea ee a ee a ae es eee rere 
A. Estimate annual volume lost ae oe ae Te a si a, Me cd ca Ae 
VIII. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF Your Assets Is IN Past Due Accouwns? ‘a oe ae ae oe a ee ee ee ee % 
I Se a ee RE om ge kr hee el et oe Boe we een cagnaraenheae eiiemas 
X. How Mucu Lower Coutp You SELL You Riencmanons. IF Yeu Cams —_— ATE THE how 
ACCOUNTS ? : x _— hE a aes Pree emer oF % 
XI. ArE You COMPETING ‘Rormany AND Useiasey IN heneee TO Rescuteus AND Hasassous 
Crepir TERMS? 
XII. Do You REALIZE THAT EVERY Dowan OF THese Burewens IF ‘SAV ED we OULD BE Poon? piteglnn kaeaeee 
Ee a ee ee a ee 
B. Amount of new business ‘ Rinses csea 
pe a Ce gh sg le Ue ao on etl le Ue & |e. okadinnneies een 
1. What part of the above is due to your efforts? Lideedenmaceeeee 



ee ee. ee 

, Se, oe 

counts does not exceed the amount collected. It may be 
that we have holes in our pockets! 

Ours, for the future, must be a policy that will in- 
crease our credit volume, reduce our collection and book- 
keeping expenses and still prevent large bad-debt write- 
offs—a plan that “will assist families in conducting their 
affairs on a more businesslike basis, assure more adequate 
profits to the merchants doing business on a credit basis, 
and improve the whole credit system.” 

Just What Is the Score? 

A local bard of no mean wit contends with no small 
amount of gusto that many of us “do not know just what 
the score is.” We may have been too close to the play— 
too busy—too involved to analyze the situation and to 
plan the next strategy. 

As we end this period of play (1936), I believe it 
would be well to plan our affairs for next year. It may 
be that we need a new style of attack or of defense, if 
you will. 

Now let us consider, for just a moment, our present 
policy which, we claim, holds our annual losses to about 
one-half of 1 per cent. How much does this represent 
in dollars and cents? Let us add to those losses all un- 
necessary bookkeeping costs, our collectors’ and clerks’ 
salaries, our legal fees and amounts paid to agents for 
collections which we could not ourselves effect. 

Estimate the business that was taken elsewhere by peo- 
ple who owe us so much that they are not allowed to 
charge or who are ashamed to ask for further credit. lf 
these totals could be accurately computed, we could know 
just what the score against us actually is. 

Let us try to get a better picture of what we have ac- 
complished, or have failed to accomplish. I have pre- 
pared a score shzet (opposite page) for the year just end- 
ing, that can be filled in with Your figures. You may 
find, when you get all the points on paper and con- 
sidered as a whole, that you did not win—Yovu Lost. 

Someone may have sifted right through left tackle and 
tossed you for a neat loss—One TuHat Coutp Have 
BEEN PREVENTED. ‘The very least your figures will say 
for you is “You could have done better.” 

Our Problem Is Obvious 

Now, if you have filled in the table with your own 
figures, at least one point becomes obvious. You will see 
that your credit problem has more angles and aspects 
than you realized, but from these results and the facts 
that we already know, we must find our solutions and 
answers. It becomes apparent that we must take a course 
that will lead us to more profits from our credit business. 

We begin to realize that our lax systems of credit ex- 
tension must be done away with. The problem as it 
looms up here is just this: we must educate the slow- 
pay customer to become a prompt-pay customer. And, 
following closely, we must see that the new and younger 
users of credit never are allowed to get the slow-pay 
habit. They must be profitable accounts. 

The profits of business depend on the kind of credit 
and collection policy on which business is conducted. Not 
on stunts, new ideas, new methods, but on the funda- 

Our systems must be DEFINITE and practical if we are 
to benefit as we should. Ours must be a policy based on 
our realization that our losses are not because we do a 


credit business, but because we do a credit business with a 
public that has not been taught to pay its bills promptly. 

What can we do about it? We can plan more effec- 
tively for 1937! May I suggest that your aims and ob- 
jectives be set down on paper? Determine just what 
must be done to reach your goal. 

Map out a complete course for the year. If you can’t 
find a better plan, here is an outline to begin with: For 
1937, plan to: 

1. Establish a definite credit and collection policy: 

(A.) Determine the exact date at which delinquent 
accounts will be definitely suspended. 
(B.) Set up the machinery to suspend these accounts 
when they reach this age limit. 
2. Keep your prompt-paying customers buying as much 
as they can pay for promptly. 
3. Increase your credit sales volume: 
(A.) Get more new accounts. 
(B.) Clinch more deals that are lost only because of 
credit factors. 
4. Increase your capital turnover and rate of profit. 
. Reduce if possible your ultimate losses. 
(A.) By more effective and cheaper collection 
6. Reduce, by elimination, the cause of all unnecessary 
office and collection expenses. 
. Eliminate all interest costs. 
8. Inaugurate a Prompt-Pay Educational Plan to: 
(A.) Make slow-paying customers pay promptly. 
(B.) Assure prompt payment of all new accounts. 
(C.) Cooperate as much as possible with your local 
and national educational movements. 




We are faced with two facts: (1) that we are either 
losing money or we are not making just profit, and (2) 
that to do the job well, we will need a plan—an out- 
line—a blueprint—or call it what you will. 

The more definite our plan the better. Of course good 
judgment and discretion are always the better part of 
valor and we may have to deviate slightly from our plan 
but—every time we carry out a point of our system— 
each time we close or suspend one slow account—each 
time we educate one customer to pay promptly—we, each 
time, save ourselves some collection expense. 


“Gold” Emblem Stickers 

For Your Letters and Statements 

Printed in royal blue on special 
“gold” gummed paper. Actual size 
is shown by dotted lines. Price, 
$2.00 per thousand, postpaid. 



1218 Olive St. 

National Retail 


St. Louis, Mo. 9 ------------------ 


The Nation’s Collection Percentages -iOct 





DISTRICT (Open Accounts) (Installment Accounts) STORES (Installment Accounts) ¥ | 
pon 1936 1935 1936 1935 1936 1935 1936 1935 [hse 

AV. HL. LO.] AV.| HI.| LO.] AV. HI.; LO.] AV.| HI| LO.} AV. HL LO.]| AV.| HI.| LO.] AV. HI. | LO.] AV.| HL! LO, HL | LO. | 4 

Boston, Mass. 52.1 |72.6 |43.4 |50.5|74.7 |40.0]17 3 |32.6|13.6 116.4 |29.8 12.7 |55.5 65.0 |4261547/65.0/421]) —| —| —]| —| —| —]@76\597 Ie. 
Providence, R. I. 46.95 1.0 |40.8 |46.6|58.0 |39.9} — - 13.4) — -| —| —}g- 

| Lynn, Mass. 50.2 |58.0/41.2)49.2/57.0/37.1, —| —| — — 121.0] — - _ — 114.8 17.2 )12.3}10.2)13.5 |1001 3 2 
Springfield, Mass. 55.3 |58.6 |53.1 }53.5/56.9 |51.2§23.6/35.0|11.9 119.4/27.5|10.2]55.0 |60.0 |46.6161.8 |63.9 |580, — —-|—-|-|—]| = 
Worcester, Mass. 49.9 51.3 |48.0}48.9 |52.0/45.9 §26.6/28.1 25.1 }22.3)24.6)17.6] — |37.0| — |438/489|35.0] — 22 -| —| =a 
New York City 50.4 |63.7 |40.2}49.3 |66.2/39.0 114.8 | 244 |20.6 120.9|24.9/12.0 148.5 |56.1 |36.3 146.8 /59.1/37.4 -| —} —]}f- 
Pittsburgh, Pa. 50.6 |58.7 |40.9 |48.2|51.3/38.3 18.3 |22.9|14.0 149.6 |58.7 |38.0148.5|58.7 |38.31 — - : 0 |25.7 }4: 

2 Reading, Pa. 54.6|62.0/53.4)50.1 |51.7/45.6) — |208| — | — |19.9] — | — |36.0) —] — |45.0) — $14.8/18.0 j11.7 |16.9 |23.0 |10.8] #— 
Syracuse, N. Y. 45.4|46.9/41.21/40.5|509 |33.3]18.0 |24.5 |17.5 }18.3 |20.0 16.6 147.2/48.2/46.3] — |44.7) —] - —{—| —| —-i§- 

Utica, N. Y. ~ =| = -i-—-| — -i—-| -—| — - — 150.0 |65.0 |47.0 | 47.0 |50.0 47.4 410.0 |13.7/ 95 J1I0.5/11.5) 96 
Washington, D.C. 43.4 |53.5!37.6 [41.5 (51.8 |36.8 912.8 |14.2) 96 112.3)13.3)109} — | —}| —}] —| —| - — |. => = 7 ee 

3 Huntington, W. Va. 162.7|70.2/55.1 | 60.7 |65.9 |55.419.2/ 95 | 89 -185 - - — - - i — 1108 - 110.7) —|a— 
Baltimore, Md. 45.5 |54.1 |/38.1 [42 4/52.4 |35.4 J17.3 |29.5| 6.3 |15.7|27.2) 6.0 |40.3|45.5 |35.8 |37.8 |39.6/369) —| —| —}] —} —| - - 

4 Birmingham, Ala. 46.9 |49.8 |43.21447 |48.7 |35.0 122 6|26.7 |20.1 118.6 |23.3)14.1 |46.3/56.7 |44.0151.2/53.0 |33.7 112.7 113.2 111.9 10.9 111.7 105] 8 — + § 
Atlanta, Ga. 36.2 |38.0|34.5|37.7 |40.4 |35.0 $13.9}15.6 [12.2] 14.5 |15.6 |13.4 137.4 |38.3/36.5 1 39.3/39.5 |39.2912.6)13.1 12.1 113.3)14.31124 B70 3 
Kansas City, Mo.® | — | — | — [60.2/80.4/38.37 —| —| —]| —li74] —T—]| —T — Jsaoler3jasoy —| -| -| —| -| -1]-| —-]|. 

5 St. Louis, Mo. 54.8 |66.7 |46.8 [53.5 |64.6 |45.0 119.5 |22.0|16.6 }21.9 |26.9 |16.7 146.4 |54.5|40.1 144.8 | 47.6 |39.7 — |11.7 |16.4 | 7.0 } Boo 
Little Rock, Ark. 40.7 |48.1 |36.7 [385 |39.3|33.1916.3 19.3 13.4 1114/12 8)100} — | — | — | — |37.6] - 100} — 111.8}12.1|10.419880/230 3 
Cleveland, O. 50.9 |56.7 |42.8/46.0|63.4/39.7 117.9 |27.5)12.9}19.1 | 24.0/13.2 143.8 45.0 |40.8141.9/47.0/41.0113.2/31.0)1 1 7410.7111.2|10.31B42/43.614 
Cincinnati, O. 51.8 |55.9 |45.31/49.0 |53.4 |37.8 116.3 |20.4 |13.6 115.4 |23.3)10.0 153.1 | 75.7 |36.5143.2/53.1/33.0}] —| —| —}] —|] —| —(92/45.315. 
Columbus, O. 46.5 59.1 |49.0149.5 [52.7 |47.3 912.1 |12.6/1 1.6 113.5 }13.6/13.4 [53.8 |59.3 146.3 152 2/57. 9147.6 112.6 |38.0/11.6 1135 |35.0/134)8— | — 
Toledo, O. 50.1 /59.0 |45.2 148.8 |58.3/40.7 119.2/19.9|17.3 [19.6 |19.9 |16.8 159.0 |61.0 |53.9 149.9 51.8 |48.0116.3 119.6 13.0 17.3 |20.5|14.21m09 (32.014 

6 Youngstown, O. 495/51 | |47.8147.9/48.0/47.9 $16.8 |18.6 | 15.0 119.4 |24.7|14.1 154.4/60.5/48.21478 |52.2/43.5118.6 |21 5|15.7 117.0 118.0 16.0156) — 
Detroit, Mich. 59.7 |69.0 |45.0 |57.8 |68.0 /43.1 $23.9 |24.4|22.7 |23.2/30.2/19. 1 154.0/57.0 |50.6 |50.3/55.0 4687 — | —| —]| —]| — | — 85163016 
Grand Rapids, Mich. 152.9 /55.7 |49.5 144.2/45.6|42.7] — | — | — - | —]| — §65.2/71.0 |53.8 }60.3 |67.3 |52.6 916.9 |20.1/14.0]15.8)19.1 IIOle— | — 
Milwaukee, Wis. 51.7 |59.8 |50.6 [51.6 |56.3 |}43.6 120.3 |23.0 18.6 119.4 [21.1 166] — |565| — | — |564| —]}] —|] —]| — | 89] 94 | 83 118/320 1/3 
Springfield, Il.* 35.5 |47.9/20.1}335|475)1I5 5} —| —| —]| — | —| — 434.2/40.3}28.0/31.4/33.2/29.5119.7 |26.8 11 1.5 118.5 |26.0|12 31050 (32.6 |2 
Duluth, Minn. 41.6 |45.7 |37.51408|45.0|36.7 | — |23.7; — | — |240| — }47.0/629/40.71527/65.1/402] — | —| —] —]| —]| —]Rba!) — 

St. Paul, Minn. 55.8 | 63.1 |47.3 157.2 |60.8 550} —| —| —}| —| — | — §46.1/51.5/40.0]47.6|50.0 |400] —| —| —] —| —| -]§-| — 
Minneapolis, Minn. 68.2) 72.5|64.2|67.0 |71.8 |62.6 121.5 |27.6|13 6119.7 /23.3/14 | 164.0|68.3/59.6 160.9|62.2/59.6 — 114.3 }16.1 |12.6)82.1) — 

1 Davenport, Ia. 58.6 |59.8 |57.4 |54.2/58.0 |50.3 $13.6 |14.7 |12.3 115.6 17.6 13.6 | — |51.0) — |] — |45.0) — F155 16.2)14 8112012. 4)11.71F-| — 
Des Moines, Ia. 37.7 |52.3/32.9 |33.6 |60.0/310} —| —| —}] —| —| — 49.6/53.0/46.0]47.0/40.0\460} — | —| —]}] —]| —]| —]B57) — 
Cedar Rapids, Ia. 62.6 |64.5 |54.0 |62.2/64.0 50.3 $24.9 |29.0 |20.9}21 7 |23.4 |20.1 — a i ae) oe - -j-—35 =| ~~) a 
Sioux City, Ia. 47.7 |49.5 |46.0 |46.2/46.4 |46.0 125.1 |29.3/21.0}21.3|26.6/16.0} — |400|) — - 1440 ar 
Omaha, Neb. — 525] — | — |45.5| — | — |14.6| — | — |14.7| — [51.9 |65.0 [44.1 [52.6/62.0/41.0] — | — 2 2 1 = ) a 

8 Tulsa, Okla. 53.0/61.5 |52.4}59.0|62.6/48.3 $13.0 |15.6 |12.6114.0)15.0)11.2147.5 |59.1/35.91463/51.0/41.6) — | - —| —) ae 
San Antonio, Tex. 405 |42.2|38 6 |43.3/47.7 |36.1 J10.1 110.6) 9.7 $13.0 14.0 11.7 [51.4 |52.0|51.0 148.2|50.8 |46.0911.4 111.8 |11.0311.1 113.2 110.0)839) — 
Denver, Colo. 49.2/54 2/43.2147.8|56.3 |44.2 115.8 | 16.6 [15.4 [15.7 |17.0 14.6 [50.1 |52 8147.3 147.3/49.5/45.2110.0 |10.5/ 94 JIO.1 11.1) 90)837) — 

9 Salt Lake City, Utah [57.5 |68.5/46.1 159.1 /66.3/54.61225/30.0|16.51/214/279|179] — | —| —]| -—| —| —~} —-| -—| -| -| —-| -{f-| - 
Casper, Wyo. — |106.1; — | — 1020} — | —| —| —] —] —] — 9380 |42.0/340 [340 |37.0/31.0} — —|—]|-—|-{§- 
Portland, Ore. 43.9 |101.4/39.0 138.8 |89.1 |37.2 $16.4 |17.9 [14.4 117.4 19.5 12.1 143.9 148.0 |42.7 148.0 /51.7 41.8] — - —-}| —|] —]| — 2.01 80°1 | 

10 Spokane, Wash. 62.5 |67.3 |57.6 162.6 |68.9 56.4 f15.9 |17.1 114.6 115.6|16.7 |14.6 142.5 |50.0 |35.1 1429 /51.0 |349 — — | — 9.22 5115 
Tacoma, Wash.® — | —| — }47.2|63.9/416) — | —| — [16.0/250)1617 —| —| —]}] —| —]| —] —| —] -—] -—]| -—] -f-e 
a ons 47.0 |55.2|31.4 |47.4 |55.4 |34.8118.4 |30.5 |13.3 ]20.6 |35.4 |15.3 142.3/54.3 |33.4 [395 |58.5 |34.0915.6 /31 5) 11.6 417.9 |24.6)13.218 — 

It Los Angeles, Calif. 162.4 |68.5 |52.6 |61.3 |64.8 [54.5 120.0 |22.8/18.7 120.1/23.5|17.8 158.0 69.6 |54.0/59.5 |66.7 |52.5] — —| —]er3 
Santa Barbara, Calif. [49.0 |54.5 |40.6/42.2/48.9|384) — | —| —| —| —| — §549|74.2/425|59.7|820\38.1} —| —| —| —| —| -{f- 

Ottawa, Ont. 39.6 148.7 |27.6 134.0 |45.0|225 918.9 |266/12.2}17.3 |27.4 |11.3 $27.3 [32.5 |24.6 125.4 |33.6/22 7911.2 /169 110.9 12.4 15.6 |11.0]R- 
12 Vancouver, B. C. 75.5 |81.8 |69.2164.3/65.1 |63.5 134.3 |43.8 |248 |248/25.1\244] — |48.5| — |63.0|77.0\490] — |14.9| — 113.4/18.0 | 89 }90.0 
Victoria, B. C. 66.7 |69.5 |64.0 [59.2 |53.4 |55.1 124.7 |28.0 |21.4 1254 |29.0\21.9} — |642) —}| — |45.1) —} —| —| —~]| —| —)] -ie 
© 1936 figures not received at press time °Installment SHeating ®6Paper and Paint 8Cleaning and Dyeing uilders’ Si 
*Open and Installment accounts combined 2Laundry SLumber TFuel °Carpet and Rug Cleaning Ptician 
Fifty Cooperating Key Cities--in the United § Cana 

October, 1936, Versus October, 1935 

6 1935 1936 1935 1936 1935 1936 1935 1936 1935 
‘to. [fin LO. | AV.| HL | LO. | AV. | HL | LO. |] AV.| HL | LO. | AV. | HI | LO. |] AV.| HI | LO. | AV. | HI | LO. | AV.| HI | LO.f AV.| HL | LO} AV.| HI | LO. 
~| 7.6|59.7 164.9|65.9|64.0] —| —| —] —|57.6| —] — |625| —]| —|600| —]}] —| —| —]| —]| —| — 56.0 166424710560 68 719|25 i 
~|t- ~| —~| ~-} —|] —] —] —| —| — ]55.6]61.2/50.0154.7|61.4|48.0 144.0/56.4 |31.6] — |49.0| — ]65.5 |8587/55.37163 0 |8504156.01% 
10.0) 83.2 — |12.1°) —] — |}908| — | —|785| —} —| —| —] —| —| — 475.0 |85.0/65.0 1420/48 2 |35.8)70.0 |81.27/33.04455 0 |9107/290' 
—|i- a -|1420| — | — |41.0| — 64.3 |64.5 |64.0]63.0/67.4 |585 | — |79.0| — | — |83.0) — [63.1 |6737/5905)72 3 |77.77|67.0" 
—|q- —~| —]| — ]68.9/97.0|40.8161.0|79.0/43.1) —| — | — |] — |52.0| — ]58.1|67.3 |49.01495/57.0 |420] 69.9 |87.274705165.1 |75.07/5005 
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B (11.0 — | — $32.6/415/28.4/31.5|40.3\276} —| —| —} —| —| -—} —| —] —] —| — | — 9$10*)420%4267132)4 4004/3607 
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, » | | —§ | — | ~ | ~ | ~ | ~ | compmed By RESEARCH DIVISION—NATIONAL RETAIL CREDIT ASSOCIATION | | | AMM 
uilders’ Supplies 13Grocery 15Florist 17Music 19D rugs 2i1Leather Goods 
ing Ptician 14Stationery, Office Supplies 16H ardware 18Dairy 20Sporting Goods 23Household Equipment 

DECEMBER, 1936 17 

The Effect of Governmental-Insured 
Credit on Retailers’ Terms 

Credit Manager, Sears, Roebuck & Co., Atlanta, Ga. 

the various forms of governmental-insured credit. 
We have the work done through the Federal 
Land Banks in extending credit to farmers who, at the 
pit of the depression, were facing foreclosure and the 
loss of their farms. Such loss, of course, carried with 
it all the toil of the best part of the lives of these farmers. 

N DOUBT you are familiar to some extent with 

This distressing condition was rapidly assuming dan- 
gerous proportions which would have made a consider- 
able group of our people not only destitute but desperate 

Editor’s Note: 

Mr. Fettes, in this article, sounds a warning 
that retail credit granters cannot afford to ig- 
nore. Retailers, everywhere, are imitating the 
credit policies inaugurated by FHA. 

Then, to be consistent, why don’t they, as 
the author suggests, also follow its collection 
plan, “making our terms mean what they say”? 
There’s a lot of sound sense in this article. 
Read it! 

anEEennins — 

and would have resulted in a very large average going to 
waste. During the stress of the worst period of depres- 
sion the private capital back of these farm mortgages 
seemed inadequate to cope with the situation. 

Something had to be done to free this vast sum of 
frozen assets and—in spite of extensions, moratoriums 
and other expedients—the monied interests could see no 
way out except through foreclosure and a salvaging of 
what they could at the moment. In this crisis the gov- 
ernment stepped in—set up machinery for refinancing 
these mortgages on a long-term basis—and the situation 
was immediately relieved and improved. 

By this time, however, a somewhat similar situation 
had developed in the ranks of the home owners. Again 
the government stepped in—with the HOLC—designed 
to save distressed mortgages. 

It must be kept in mind that these two great agencies 
were set up quite as much for sociological reasons as for 
economic reasons. ‘The American home and the Amer- 
ican farm had to be preserved; and these governmental 
agencies dealt with the situation with that thought upper- 
most. The usual economic consideration was not the 
deciding factor. : 

It was quickly found that many home owners apply- 
ing to the HOLC (for refinancing) owned homes that 
could not possibly be refinanced unless immediate steps 
were taken to recondition them, to put them in suitable 
shape to have a reasonable chance of being habitable dur- 
ing the life of the new mortgage. This brought into be- 
ing the reconditioning unit of the HOLC. 

Retailers immediately became interested. Here was a 


fine field for plumbing and heating equipment, roofing, 
millwork, paint, etc. This was choice business because it 
was cash business. The immediate stimulus to these 
lines pointed the way to the administration to start a 
definite “prime-the-pump” movement—through the me- 
dium of the FHA. 

This agency had two distinct divisions—Title 1 and 
Title 2: The one to stimulate new construction and the 
other to benefit similar lines of business by encouraging 
reconditioning and improvement of homes. More good 
news to retailers! Here, again, was choice business pro- 
moted by the government and advertised lavishly on a 
national scale. 

There was a new angle to this, however, in the form 
of governmental-insured credit, the government stipulat- 
ing the carrying charge of 5 per cent per annum and in- 
suring the credit up to 20 per cent. The FHA did not 
go over nearly as big as hoped for, due to the lack of 
proper credit facilities in many sections, particularly in 
our Southeastern region. 

Banks, with some notable exceptions, were slow to go 
into this new type of business. The government stood 
ready to approve financial institutions which cared to 
qualify and a few finance companies specialized in this 
type of paper and did a tremendous volume. Several 
national business firms formed finance corporations to en- 
able them to get as much of this business as possible. 

As time went on the banks became more and more 
favorable and one very interesting and important side- 
light on this whole question is the reaction of banks to 
this form of extension of credit to individuals. Their 
experience with this paper has been so favorable that, in 
future, it seems almost certain that common folk (“even 
as you and I’’) will find it possible to secure credit for 
worthwhile undertakings. (A noticeable forward step 
has been taken by a number of banks in the setting up or 
enlargement of personal finance departments. ) 

Whether it was a further “pump-priming” move—or 
an effort to build up FHA sales to the anticipated amount 
—or, perhaps, some good high-pressure salesmanship on 
the part of manufacturers or retailers—the fact remains 
that an amendment to the FHA was authorized which 
opened that governmental-insured credit plan for the sale 
of electric appliances and a whole catalog of allied items. 

Retailers found themselves fighting each other fiercely 
for this rich volume of sales. The old bugaboo of com- 
petition in terms was laid low. All were equal in that 
respect except those conservatives who, although swept 
along by the stream, held fast to some remnant of credit 
fundamentals and insisted on maintaining a minimum 
monthly payment. 

What effect the handling of these applications had 
upon your credit-granting policy is a question for each 


one of you to answer. How much insurance the govern- 
ment will have to pay on this paper is a question for the 
future to reveal. Jf the accounts work out satisfactorily, 
we have all had the benefit of the business, the finance 
company has got its money and the cost to the taxpayer 
will have been small. Everyone will be satisfied. 

If the contrary is the outcome, however, I wonder if 
it will be the plan that will be classed as having been a 
failure or whether the credit granters will be condemned 
and blamed for doing a poor job? Keep in mind that it’s 
hard for the credit man to win. If collections are good, 
it is because times are prosperous. If collections are bad, 
it is because of poor credit handling! 

I cannot leave consideration of governmental-insured 
credit without mentioning the EHFA plan which has 
been a special problem to the N. R. C. A. Fourth District. 

I am not going to either praise or condemn these gov- 
ernmental activities. ‘To me the ever-recurring thought 
is this: What might have happened—when the govern- 
ment decided on these things—if the N. R. C. A. had 
been a great, united body of retail credit granters, em- 
bracing in its ranks all the best and also most of retail 

Might we not have had one of our number as first 
assistant to Hopkins—speaking with a voice of authority 
on the tremendous credit questions involved—expound- 
ing and explaining the proper procedure—and showing 
the necessary machinery already set up to handle these 
credits along lines approved by the credit granters of the 
country? We credit folk are called lots of names. How 
do you like my suggestion that we might even have been 
called “brain trusters” or would they have called us 
“boondogglers” ? 

Coming now ts the other half of my title I find my- 
self immediately stumped. What are retailers’ terms? 
Charge accounts; thirty-day accounts; installment ac- 
counts; club plans; budget plans; letters of credit; lim- 
ited credit! (Or what have you?) “No deposit; no car- 
rying charge; no red tape; no embarrassing questions; 
arrange your own payments; books closed—purchases 
don’t appear until next month’s bill, etc.” What, then, 
are retailers’ terms that anything of any kind could af- 
fect them? Perhaps we shall find it easier to change the 
word “terms” to “structure” and rename our subject— 
“The Effect of Governmental-Insured Credit on the Re- 
tail Credit Structure.” 

Our credit structure has been built up through the 
ages and there have been many architects—many build- 
ers—and a goodly number of chiselers. The salvation 
has been that there has been a perfect foundation: The 
credit fundamentals you are all familiar with. 

As long as that foundation remains, we may have col- 
lapses of some poorly built structures erected by specu- 
lators or visionaries—the superstructure may give way in 
places where chiselers (borers from within) get in their 
evil work. 

But, if the mass of credit granters stand fast and hold 
true to the sound practice of credit granting, the future 
holds a glorious opportunity, and a rare privilege for 
credit granters. Let’s hope that our new group of wom- 
en’s clubs will be of material help in putting the finish- 
ing touches on this ideal hour of credit. 

Let us keep in mind that, as credit departments, we 
exist as a channel for the securing of profitable: sales. 


One result of governmental-insured credit has been a 
tremendous boom in installment selling. Keep in mind 
that we constantly try to get merchants into our associa- 
tion that they may be better able to properly handle 
credit business. 

Bear in mind that many credit granters are now han- 
dling installment credit for the first time. Is our associa- 
tion giving a lead to these? It ought to have this sub- 
ject foremost in its mind and program, in my opinion, for 
in this new field we find much to view with alarm. 

A charge account credit granter who switches his ac- 
tivities to a promotion of installment sales is in a new 
field to him but a field which has been well worked and 
developed by the group which has long specialized in in- 
stallment selling. —TThese newcomers have largely adopted 
the FHA plan and terms and are even extending it into 
other lines of merchandise. All of these new and recon- 
ditioned FHA homes are fine prospects for home furnish- 
ings. Improving conditions are paving the way for many 
people to replace well-worn merchandise. 

With this business right at our hand is it wise or even 
necessary to give way one bit from our sound, funda- 
mental plan of credit granting? Wouldn’t we get this 
business anyway—and wouldn’t everyone concerned be 
better off? Are we gaining anything by this FHA plan 
effect on our methods? 

Did we have to adopt the “no deposit” feature, or the 
long-term feature? Are we considering the financial 
problems involved when we give up the deposit we so 
readily secured? Are we counting the cost of financing 
accounts over a period of three years rather than twelve 
to eighteen months? 

Will not the great flood of business on these terms 
make necessary capital requirements that will seriously 
tax store managements? Keep in mind that even under 
the old plan installment accounts which ran twelve 
months in many cases took fourteen to sixteen months to 
pay out. The rate makes a three-year account likely to 
carry into the administration of your successor. Who 
among us is there who can feel any real assurance that we 
can safely look thirty-six months down into the future? 


“Did we have to adopt the ‘no deposit’ 
feature? Are we considering the financial 
problems involved when we give up the deposit 
we so readily secured? 

“Are we counting the cost of financing ac- 
counts over a period of three years rather than 
twelve to eighteen months?” 

What about possible (and quite likely) price fluctua- 
tions, radical changes in design and performance and the 
certain knowledge that with few exceptions the merchan- 
dise is depreciating as rapidly as payments are being made? 
Won’t adjustments and repossessions be a problem and, 
even in the case of gilt-edge credit risks, won’t unem- 
ployment, sickness and death be a greater hazard over the 
longer term? 

I don’t know how many of you are accountants but you 
can all give some figures to an accountant friend or dis- 
cuss your own store figures with your comptroller. Don’t 
let the seeming volume which these long and easy terms 

(Continued on page 22.) 




OW comes the Season of Good Will—and 

with it the opportunity to cement cordial 

customer-relationships: With letters of ap- 
preciation to good customers—for their patronage 
and for their promptness in taking care of their 

Too often, credit departments do not take 
enough interest in the prompt-paying customer. 
As W. D. Hart, Retail News Editor of Women’s 
Wear Daily, says (page 25): “She goes along as 
a very satisfactory patron for years. Suddenly 
she becomes slow in her payments. Then, the 
credit department becomes suddenly interested in 

At the urgent request of many members, we are 
again reproducing (below) the cover and text of 
a little folder (statement-envelope size) originally 
shown in these pages in our February issue. Only 
the first page and the bottom flap of the inside 
are illustrated but the message on the inside pages 
—which is an inspiration—follows: 


On the Fourth Floor, in an isolated corner of this great 
store, there is a room which no customer has ever seen. In 
it is the greatest collection of valuables in Missouri. You 
probably picture a huge safe stored with jewelry or securi- 
ties. If you guess these things, you will not even be warm 
... give up? 

The collection to which we refer is our charge list in 
which you are recorded. Great stores all over the world 
are made great by the names on their books. On our books 
in that little corner are the names of thousands of leaders 
and soon-to-be-leaders in the social, professional and busi- 
ness life of this community. 

We are addressing you as one of those names to express 
our appreciation of your part in making this store great. 
We hope you associate the name of Stix, Baer & Fuller 
with pleasant and happy experiences. So many customers 
write and say to us that they do, that we have grown 
quite sentimental about it. 




We take the approach of the new year as an opportunity 
of sending good wishes and of expressing the earnest hope 
that we may be able to add to your enjoyment of the 
pleasures 1936 holds for you. 

' The Management of 

Stix, Barr & Fucus. 


Figure 1 in the plate on the opposite page is a 
letter used last January by F. W. Funk, Manager 
Credit Department, Hudson’s Bay Co., Winnipeg. 
“We send out such a letter annually,” he says. 

In the Hale Bros. letter (Figure 2), obtained 
through the courtesy of Frank Batty, General 
Credit Manager, the scene at the top of the letter- 
head was printed in Christmas colors, making it 
very attractive. (Note the selling appeal.) 

Rice’s statement (Figure 3) was sent to every 
customer on the books at the end of November 
(except those delinquent or unsatisfactory). The 
Christmas message was printed in red and green. 

“We used a somewhat similar statement last 
year,” writes H. E. Northey, Manager of Credit 
Sales, “with very good results. We hope for even 
better results this year as this will go to a greater 
number of inactive accounts.” 

Figure 4 shows a letter which is being sent by 
Louis Selig, Credit Manager of Rosenfield’s, to all 
inactive accounts as a Christmas shopping urge. 
(Letterhead in red—typewriter ribbon in green.) 

Two Books on Credit 

Credit Department 

By Bartlett and Reed 

Authors of “Retail Credit Practice” 

A complete and authoritative manual on such im- 
portant topics as: ' 

Use of selling psychology in credit work; use of 
sales promotion to build up more charge accounts 
for the store; use of letters for both collection and 
sales bulding; use of the newest methods of han- 
dling the installment credit problem. 

These are but a few of the topics covered with 
specific suggestions—‘case-studies”—from success- 
ful experience. Designated as official textbook for 
the Advanced Credit Course. 

PRICE $3.50 

Retail Credit Practice 
By Bartlett & Reed 

A practical, authoritative manual for retail store 
credit executives and students of credit practices. 
Official Textbook of N. R. C. A. Courses. 

PRICE $4.00 

Order From 


Executive Offices, St. Louis, Mo. 


Dudsonis Bau Compann. 









You may have thought that because this store 
is large your patronage would not be missed. On the -_ 
trary, we are deeply concerned bgcause you have not use 

An undertaking satisfectorily your charge account for some time. 
eccomplished is always a source of grati- 
fication to all concerned: and so we feel If there hes been anything ip obn on 
that it has been of mutual benefit and to cause you to stop using our credit facili woe Poth of 
satisfaction to have your account with us eager to correct it, as it is through the — eraletel 
attended to so conscientiously during the our patrons that we are best able to improve 0 
past year, 
Incidentally, the present time is apo tny a 
We assure you of our sincere the use of your account. The entire store onal then 
appreciation for your promptness, and we Christmas, with selections larger and = san aniee a8 
hope to be worthy of your continued pat- we have ever had, Thousands aac ae cnanihen 
ronage for many years to com interesting prices are here } 
hi _ gpm a visit soon, you will find it both pleasant 
Yours faithfully, and profitable. 

General Manager 


F, W. FUNK - 


Che Merry Christmas Store 
dc Lilteet Ce Ree) et Bas, FL 
CHEER BE, Og danas 
st a 
Nacenal Retail Rice's Fashion Corner, Inc. itteares fot 

Ceedit Association Seon hing Sansa 
Where Freemason Crosses Granby 

December 1, 1936 

Mrs. John Doe 
Sold to ©) East Blvd. @) 


— ae, Dear Mrs. Doe:-- 

OF MONTH FOLLOWING DATE OF PU = You have probably been observing with interest, the 
a changes, improvements and remodeling that have been going on at 
Rosenfield's. Well, it is all finished now and we believe you 
are going to like it, 



pare | Ot" DESCRIPTION | 

It has been a task to accomplish all this...and you ° 
Played a mighty’ part. Your friendship and loyalty have contri- 
buted much to our progress and enabled us to make these improve- 
ments, which ere primarily for your make your shop- 
Ping more convenient and enjoyable. 

This brings us to the subject of Christmes, for you 
will want to shop where the newest things are available and where 
shopping is most pleasant and convenient. The things you want 
are at Rosenfield's....for never before have we tried more earn- 
estly or selected more carefully, and never have we been so 
completely ready for the great occasion and the Joy it brings. 

You have eerned the privi lege of usirg your ecsount 
, generously for everything you may desire, Use your account to 
DNovfelk a ( Ls deas fore : make this Christmas one of your happiest and the best of all. 

Holiday Greetings to you} 




rm 4 

8 lig 
redit Manager-Controller 





DECEMBER, 1936 21 

The Effect of Government-Insured 
Credit on Retailers’ Terms 
(Continued from page 19.) 

will almost certainly bring, fool us into entering into 
transactions which may actually result in loss. The list- 
ing of the sale on your ledger as a debit transfers the mer- 
chandise from inventory to accounts receivable but it’s 
not really a sale until you get the last payment. 

Your merchandise men and salesmen emphasize inven- 
tory-turnover. Are you sure your turnover on receivables 
will be profitable? Figure out the capital outlay required 
on even a modest volume of installment sales. At least, 
know what you are doing and whether or not you have 
the power of deciding your store’s credit policy. You 
will be better off, whatever happens, by being on record 
that your store’s plan is sound or otherwise. 

Another effect of FHA on the present credit structure 
that appears likely, is the fact that an adoption of small 
monthly payments because of long terms is likely to lead 
to a pyramiding of accounts. Care must be taken in 
checking credit application reports to guard against this. 
There will be both a tendency to overbuy and to oversell 
and such conditions will be harmful. 

Another effect is to encourage the attitude so prevalent 
through the Southeast that “It’s not so much the ulti- 
mate cost as the amount of the monthly payment that is 
the important factor.” We are not building up our 
standards when we encourage such a thought. 

If what I have presented seems to indicate that the ef- 
fect of governmental-insured credit is likely to be harm- 

ful to the retail credit structure, let me give a thought on 
the other side. Governmental-insured credit was handled 
largely through banks and finance companies. If we are 
to follow the FHA credit plan, let us by all means fol- 
low its collection plan also, making our terms mean what 
they say. Low collection ratios are largely caused be- 
cause we let the customer pay as he chooses—instead of in 
accordance with terms. Let’s take a leaf from our whole- 
sale brothers’ book and make our terms definite and un- 
derstood—and then have them observed! 


Silver Anniversary Convention --Spokane-- 
June 15-18, 1937 

The Silver Anniversary Convention of the National 
Retail Credit Association will be held in Spokane, Wash- 
ington—where the Association was organized in 1912. 

The dates: June 15-18, 1937. Plan now to attend. 
Reprints of Articles Available 

As many credit associations have been requesting re- 
prints of timely articles for distribution to members and 
prospects, we have arranged to keep the forms of each 
issue standing for 30 days. 

Reprints will be made if orders are received in suffi- 
cient quantity to justify the cost. Price of reprints will 
be nominal—based on quantity desired. 

A Little Rhyming Now 

and Then-- 

Proves a Boon to Credit Men! 

We've always known that versatil- 
ity was one of the qualifications of 
good credit men but the credit man 
who can answer poetical complaints 
in the same meter is good! The letter 
below explains all: 

In our Addressograph Department an 
error was made in making the plate so 
that the customer’s name was made to 
read “Mrs.” when it should have been 

When the statement was sent to the 
customer on the first of the month, we 
received the enclosed complaint from him 
—set to poetry! 

We replied likewise and if you care 
to use this for publication in THe Crepir 
Wor_p you have my permission. It is 
an error that frequently happens but I 
can’t recall ever having had the mistake 
brought to our attention in rhyme! 

—E. J. Dottarp, Credit Manager, 

O’Connor, Moffatt & Co., 
San Francisco, Calif. 

The Complaint 

O’Connor, Moffatt & Co. 
San Francisco, Calif. 

To whom it may 
Concern today: 

It seems to’ me that you should be 
More careful with my statement. 
In mild protest, may I request 
An immediate abatement. 

I go to buy a Hat and Tie 
So wonder what all this is; 
I find that you have added to 
My name the prefix MRS. 

I like your store and furthermore 
I like the people in it. 

’T was ever thus in service plus, 
We go beyond the limit. 

I have no wife to direct my life, 
All I have is a married sister. 
So if you please, put me at ease, 
Change the account to Mister. 


Tho’ Life isn’t spent, I’m quite content 
To live minus love and kisses. 

So abide with me, I am respectfully, 

A Man without a MRS. 

The Reply 

Your letter was enjoyable; 

It caused a hearty laugh. 

Excuse us please for burdening you 
With an excess better half. 

We must apologize for that 
And hastened to comply. - 
With clerical dexterity 
The knot we did untie. 

We've dropped the “S” from “MRS.” 
Your account once more reads “MR.” 
We've taken back the wife we gave 
But you still have your’ SISTER. 

We thank you for your verses 
And the good will they expressed. 
To merit its continuance 

We'll always do our best. 


We’re glad that you are quite content 
Without the love and kisses. 

We can supply most all your needs 
But can’t supply the “MISSUS.” 


Local, State and National 
Membership Drives in Texas 

Credit Manager, Dallas Gas Company, Dallas, Texas; N.R.C.A. State 

Membership Chairman for Texas 

E REFER with much pride to the local, state 

and national associations: The local body holds 

its weekly luncheon meetings, hears an able 
speaker, enjoys a good lunch; picks up some very valuable 
constructive information. In attending the State and 
National conventions, each year, you become better edu- 
cated and can perform the duties of a credit executive 
more efficiently. 

New members secured in our membership drives, as we 
all realize, preserve the very lifeblood of our credit 
organizations. What have you done in the way of serv- 
ice rendered to repay your association? 

The integral part of any body is of course its members, 
old or new. There is always a certain percentage of mor- 
tality, in lost or cancelled memberships each year. Then, 
too, an association must necessarily grow—in size and 
strength as well as importance. Therefore, a good blood 
transfusion must be given in the form of new members. 
We are a nonprofiting body. It is up to you, you and 
You to aid in this transfusion. There are several ways 
to do this. Doctors of Credit have varied ideas as to 
how it may be accomplished. 

Last year I was local membership chairman of Dallas. 
In arranging our drive for new members, the city was 
divided in half by a central business street. (In this 
case, it was Akard Street.) Some forty of our leading 
credit men met at the Hotel Adolphus one morning and 
those present were divided into two teams. 

These started on this membership drive with the ob- 
jective as fifty new members. The losing team was to 
eat beans while the winners were to have juicy steaks 
with all the “fixings”! 

Many other prizes were to be donated by the Dallas 

merchants and presented to the team securing the largest 
number of new members. In the sixty days of the cam- 
paign, sixty-three new members were secured, and we had 
a great time accomplishing this work. 

This year the membership drive is being conducted on 
a football set-up. We have organized two imaginary foot- 
ball teams, appointing captains, guards, quarterbacks and 
coaches. The players are one-half the membership for 
each team. ‘These teams are named for two of the lead- 
ing high schools of the city—Team No. 1 for Adamson 
High—Team No. 2 for Forest High. (These two teams 
—the real ones—have fought for years for supremacy.) 

In the membership drive, the winning team will be 
awarded a trophy with the names of the officers engraved 
on it. Names of the team members will be written on a 
ribbon. The losing team will entertain the winners with 
a barbecue. 

The territory each team is to work is designated by 
dividing the city in half (as was done last year). Each 
new member secured counts a point. This will be the 
longest football game on record, having begun October 1, 
1936, and continuing until May 1, 1937, or just before 
the State Convention. 

At the weekly luncheon, held at the Hotel Adolphus, 
November 12, the Dallas Retail Credit Men’s Associa- 
tion had as guests, the cheer leaders and a representative 
of the pep squads of both the Adamson High and the 
Forest High football teams. Each team gave its school 
yells and cheered its team on to victory. 

We were given quite a “pepping-up,” and many of us 
credit men (former football players, too), went from the 
meeting with the spirit “we are going to whip ’em, you 

(Continued on page 27.) 

Pep Meeting of Competing Membership Teams of Dallas—November 12, 1936. 



Credit News Flashes-- 

Personal and Otherwise 

Cleveland Honors 25-Year Members 

The Cleveland Retail Credit Men’s Company, Cleve- 
land, Ohio, on October 29 gave a special luncheon honor- 
ing 59 firms who.had been members for 25 years or 

Jay Iglauer, Vice-President of Halle Brothers Com- 
pany and one of the organizers of the original credit 
association in 1898, described how he and a few other 
_ merchants got together and organized the association for 
the exchange of credit information and ideas. J. E. 
Lander, Credit Manager of Telling-Belle Vernon Com- 
pany, another member of the quarter-century group, was 
also one of the principal speakers. 

Firms honored at the luncheon include: 

The Bailey Co.; B. R. Baker Co.; The Webb C. Ball Co.; 
Telling-Belle Vernon Co.; Bowler & Burdick; Burrows Bros. 
Co.; Horace Carr; The Chandler & Rudd Co.; Chisholm Boot 
Shops; City Ice & Fuel Co. 

The Cleveland Arcade Co.; Cleveland Electric Illuminating 
Co.; Cleveland Laundry Co.; The Cleveland Co.; The Ohio 
Bell Telephone Co.; The Cleveland Trust Co.; Cleveland 
Window Glass & Door Co.; The Coffe-Starek Co. 

Cowell & Hubbard Co.; Davis Laundry & Cleaning Co.; 
W. B. Davis Co.; The Dodd Co.; East Ohio Gas Co.; The 
Electric Printing Co.; Engel & Fetzer Co.; Fred Epple Co.; 
Goff-Kirby Coal Co.; the Halle Bros. Co.; Hanan & Son; 
Harburger Bros. Co.; the Herringshaw Co. 

The Higbee Co.; W. R. Hoag Fuel & Supply Co.; Hotel 
Hollenden; F. S. Ingersoll; Jones-Russell Co.; S. Kohn & Sons 
Co.; Korner & Wood Co.; The Lindner Co.; The May Co.; 
Dr. W. E. Newcomb; Plain Dealer Publishing Co. 

Rorimer-Brooks Studios Co.; Schofield Building Co.; Schue- 
mann Jones Co.; Sheets Elevator Co.; A. G. Spalding & Bros.; 
Standard Drug Co.; The Stearn Co. 

The Sterling & Welch Co.; Stone Shoe Co.; D. O. Summers 
Co.; William Taylor Son & Co.; Troy Laundry Co.; Universal 
Cleaning & Dyeing Co.; Vincent Barstow Co.; Dr. George N. 
Wasser; The White Co.; Cleveland Starr Freeze Co. 

Former President Ahl Seriously III 

His many friends will regret to learn that David W. 
Ahl, Past President of the National Retail Credit As- 
sociation, is seriously ill at the Harper Hospital in De- 
troit, where he has just been operated on for the third 
time. Last reports, as we go to press, are that his con- 
dition is still very serious. 

~~ Er 

New York Credit Bureau to Move 

The Credit Bureau of Greater New York, Inc., will 
move immediately after the first of the year from its 
present location, 381 Fourth Avenue, to larger quarters at 
55 Fifth Avenue. The bureau moved to its present quar- 
ters in 1933, at which time it was thought that there was 
ample space to take care of any possible expansion. Since 
then, however, business has increased so rapidly that en- 
larged space had to be secured. The new quarters will 
provide 5,000 square feet of additional space. 


Death of Harry Teubner 

Harry R. Teubner, Credit Manager of Strawbridge & 
Clothier, Philadelphia, died November 30, according to 
telegraphic advice received as we were going to press. 

He had been an active worker in National Association 
affairs for years and was Vice-Chairman of our National 
Legislative Committee. 

Do You Publish an Association Magazine? 

One of our members is anxious to exchange his associa- 
tion publication with other associations which publish as- 
sociation organs of the magazine type. If you get out 
such a publication will you please send the National Of- 
fice a sample copy so that we may arrange the exchange? 

Thalhimer Bros. in New Store 

Thalhimer Bros., Richmond, Va., department store, 
several weeks ago held a formal opening of their new 
half-million-dollar store. The ceremonies were partici- 
pated in by J. F. Bright, Mayor of Richmond, and John 
S. Bryant, President of William and Mary College. 

A Correction 

In the last issue of The Crepir Wor.p we published 
a list of officers and directors elected by the Retail Credit 
Association of Portland, Oregon, Inc. Our correspond- 
ent, however, through oversight omitted the name of 
Joseph A. H. Dodd of the Portland Gas & Coke Co., 
who was elected as one of the directors of the Associa- 
tion. Naturally, we regret this oversight. 

Vicksburg Credit Women Organize 

The Vicksburg Credit Women’s Breakfast Club was 
organized October 8 with the following officers: 

Mrs. L. K. Russell, President ; Mrs. Fannie Voellinger, 
Vice-President; Miss Margaret Poats, Secretary; and 
Miss Leona Van Os, Treasurer. 

$am $olinsky in Rochester Hospital 

$am $olinsky (“Dollar Sign” Sam), Manager of the 
Retail Merchants’ Association of Beaumont, Texas, is in 
a Rochester, Minn., hospital for an operation. 

~ er 
What Is the Most Important Retail Credit 
Problem for 1937? 

Each year we have asked this question and, always, we 
have received, and published, such a number of worth- 
while replies that this feature has come to be regarded 
as an annual symposium of nation-wide credit opinion. 

This year we want to publish as many answers as pos- 
sible—we want to make this a veritable cross-section of 
the “credit thinking” of the profession throughout the 
United States and Canada. So please make your answer 
brief—not over 50 words—and to the point. Mail it to 
the National Office before December 20, if possible. 



R. L. Lynn, Jr., Heads Heironimus Co. 

Succeeding his father, who died in early October, 
Robert Lee Lynn, Jr., former Vice-President of the S. H. 
Heironimus Co., Roanoke, Va., has been named Presi- 
dent. Mr. Lynn has stated that the policies of the store 
prevailing under his father’s management will continue. 
He is 28 years old, having been but 26 when named 

Rosensweig Now Controller of Namm’s 

Leonard R. Rosensweig, formerly Credit Manager of 
Namm’s Department Store, Brooklyn, N. Y., has been 
named Controller of that firm. Albert S. Kleckner, As- 
sistant Credit Manager, succeeds him as Credit Man- 

“Know the Man’”—Says Dr. Giannini 

Through the special permission of Mr. Cecil B. De 
Mille, of Paramount Pictures, Inc. (Director, Lux Radio 
Hour), we reproduce a statement on character made by 
Dr. A. H. Giannini of the Bank of America, San Fran- 

cisco, in the course of a recent radio interview: 

“It’s been a long time since I’ve practised medicine, 
but I haven’t forgotten that a doctor must know not only 
the body but the man as well. In a similar manner, have 
I made character—as well as a man’s business—the real 
basis for my confidence in him.” 

A good thought for credit men to store away in their 

Portland Asssciation Obtains Page Publicity 

The Portland (Ore.) Retail Credit Association re- 
cently obtained a full-page write-up of the workings of 
credit, as well as those of the Credit Bureau, in the fea- 
ture section of the Sunday Oregonian (issue of October 
11). Anyone interested in this type of publicity will find 
it well worth his while to write John N. Keeler, Presi- 
dent, Credit Reporting Co., Panama Building. 

New York Credit Women Hear Editor Discuss 
the “Forgotten Customer” 

At the breakfast meeting of the recently organized Re- 
tail Credit Women’s Breakfast Club of New York City 
(November 12), W. D. Hart, Retail News Editor of 
Women’s Wear Daily, stressed the importance of per- 
sonal contact with customers and understanding of their 

“You as credit managers and assistants should talk to 
customers,” he said. “Take an interest directly in them 
and their problems. The trouble is that too many never 
think of a customer, so long as she pays her bills and has 
no complaints. 

“She goes along as a very satisfactory patron for years. 
Suddenly she becomes slow in her payments. Then, 
just as suddenly, the credit department becomes sud- 
denly interested in her. What would your reaction be, 
in a similar circumstance, if you were the customer?” 

New Officers for Muskegon 

At its annual meeting, November 9, the Muskegon 
Retail Credit Association reelected the following officers: 

T. J. Mangin, Jr., President; A. M. Dixon, Vice- 
President; F. H. Cooper, Secretary; and R. L. Appel, 
Treasurer. Directors, besides the officers, are J. B. 
Bereth and R. D. Mange. 

St. Louis’ Annual Christmas Party to Be 
Staged December 10 

The Associated Retail Credit Men of St. Louis are 
completing preparations for their annual Christmas Party, 
which will be held December 10. Dinner, entertainers, 
“fun, frolic, and dancing” are promised the guests. 

The St. Louis Association, under the able leadership 
of George L. Neuman, President, and A. J. (Gus) 
Kruse, Secretary, has had a number of instructive and 
educational meetings throughout the year but this prom- 
ises to be the outstanding event for 1936. 


Percentage Increase 
Over 1935 





i ee Ba a Ba 


—on “Credit-Graph System” solves the most vital 
problem of credit business; namely, effecting 
collections when due--without offense! 

Nothing similar has ever been used before. 

No letters, stickers, or personal calls were used to get these results. 
“Credit-Graph” is adaptable to any present collection system. 

Study this marvelous Credit-Graph collection record since its use 
in May, 1936 
No wonder that progressive executives unhesitatingly endorse and adopt 

“Credit-Graph System” as the most efficient, and only non-offending collection 
system ever devised. There is a reason: Let us tell you why. 

Start the year right by using “Credit-Graph System.” (Copyrighted.) 
Costs no more than old type statements! 

We Are in Business to Help Business, So Feel Free to Write Us Now 

CREDIT-GRAPH SYSTEMS, Jackson, Mich. or Somerset, Mich. | 

SAVES collection COSTS, 



A Suggested Program for “Pay Promptly” 
Advertising and Publicity 

(For detailed information see article on opposite page) 

Here is an outline of advertising media 
that can be employed to good use in “Prompt 
Pay” propaganda: 


Spot announcements on N. B. C. or Columbia 
Affiliated Stations. (Approximate cost 
$10.00-$20.00 per announcement. ) 

Five- to fifteen-minute programs on local sta- 
tions. (Approximate cost $3.50 to $7.00 
each. ) 

Supporting programs of educational nature by 
commercial banks, industrial banks, and 
like financial institutions. (No cost to 
associations. ) 

“Good Will” programs by chambers of com- 
merce and trade organizations. (No 
cost to associations. ) 


Special advertising copy prepared by national 
or local committees to run monthly. 
(Approximate cost $1.20 per column 
inch. T'his depends on locality.) 

Especially prepared copy to be run in edi- 
torial columns. (This idea must be sold 
to local editor—no cost.) 

Terse copy inserted between “local and per- 
sonal” items. (Cost varies—50c to 
$1.00 per insertion.) 

Direct by Mail: 

Inserts prepared by special committees to be 
mailed out by merchants in regular bill- 
ing. (No cost except for printing. ) 

Stickers for general use on “remit” notices by 
individual firms. The National Associa- 
tion furnishes excellent examples of this 
material. (See Crepir Woritp—cost 
approximately $2.00 per 1,000.) 

Rubber stamps (for firm use) with special 
“pulling” copy. 

School and Church Cooperation: 
Essays by school children on good credit 
practice and “Prompt Pay.” 
A. High school contests. 

B. Junior school contests. 

Prizes should be given. Cooperation can be 
gained through teaching staff, especially 
in English and Social Science Depart- 


Lectures before high school and college 
classes by credit experts. Credit schools 
conducted evenings by associations. 

Papers and informal talks before Sunday 
school classes—supported by biblical il- 
lustrations. These discussions can be 
heard from both credit people and in- 
dividual members of classes. Prizes may 

be given. 

Inter-Association Activities: 

Constructive activity ‘by editorial staffs of 
credit publications and state and local 
bulletins on “Prompt Pay” matters—to 
stimulate the bureau manager and the 
credit personnel themselves. (Every 
collection letter should be a “Prompt 
Pay” message. ) 

Fostering of close cooperation between adver- 
tising departments and credit depart- 
ments within businesses. 

Finally, constant vigilance by all credit per- 
sonnel and strict adherence to commu- 
nity credit policies. 

—Wu. S. Horman. 





of « 



“Let’s Advertise!” 


Credit Manager, G. A. Stowers Furniture Company, San Antonio, Texas 

NTIL challenged, we in Texas must take the 
stand that we have been the pace-setters in credit 
education and “prompt pay” advertising through- 

out the Nation—although this work has been carried on 
in some manner in almost all communities. 

It is probable that credit volume during 1936 will 
reach a new peak; if not in dollar volume it will cer- 
tainly scale a new height in number of contacts with the 
consumer due to lengthening of installment payments. 

This fact makes the necessity for “prompt pay” edu- 
cation a national problem: To place credit before the 
customer so intensively that he will understand his obli- 
gation to himself and to his merchant as the most vital 
factor for recovery and continued prosperity—that he 
will discuss retail credit even as he does other great na- 
tional issues. 

Subconsciously, everyone understands credit as a part 
of culture, in that it is idealistic—dependent upon mutual 
confidence, trust and character. 

We must admit that we have this ingenious human 
vehicle as a permanent institution—a corollary of the 
machine age, if you please; for mass production demands 
mass selling, especially of commodities whose value ex- 
ceeds the cash resources of the prospective buyer. 

Statistics reveal that while the average customer of 
retail stores is pr’marily honest (in 97 per cent of the 
cases—losses from bad debts being below 3 per cent), 
this same average customer pays his bills on the exact due 
date in only about 50 per cent of the cases. 

The motive for all retail endeavor is profit. By and 
large, profit is gained in two ways: Stock turnover and 
collection turnover; all other effort is incidental. 

Therefore, in this elementary discussion, what are the 
benefits—direct and indirect? “Prompt pay” publicity 
and education arouse community credit consciousness. 
They bring the reader (or listener) face to face with the 
importance of credit. They cause him to reflect over his 

Editor’s Note: 

Mr. Holman says: “Every ambitious person 

must interest himself in some non-compensating 
work which strives to improve social relation- 
ship. My hobby is credit education.” 
@ Down in Texas, he has been recognized for 
many years for his effort in this direction. He 
has served as local Chairman for several years 
—and has been State Chairman of Educational 
and Advertising Activities under three adminis- 
trations. @ A member of the “Pay Promptly” 
Committee of the National Retail Credit Asso- 
ciation, he is also Second Vice-President of its 
Eighth District and a Past President of the San 
Antonio Retail Credit Association. 

own credit status. They reveal the value of collective 
advertising seeking an ideal, by which industry, whole- 
sale and retail, profits. 


An earnest appeal 
for consistent and 
constructive com- 
“Pay Promptly” 

Thus far there have been three phases in the develop- 
ment of merchandising on credit: First, the willingness of 
early retailers to exchange credit experiences—the direct 
inquiry—for mutual protection. Second, the knitting to- 
gether of this idea of exchange of credit information into 
an air-tight recording system, local, state and national 
in scope. And now credit education and advertising, 
which seek to place a high value on good credit as an in- 
dividual asset and to urge the consumer to actually buy 
on credit and establish for himself and family a good 
paying record. 

We in Texas have employed all of the suggestions in 
the “Suggested Program” shown on the opposite page— 
to good advantage—in selling “prompt pay” to our con- 
sumers at a very small cost to the individual merchant. 
Our latest triumph has been an arrangement in San 
Antonio whereby a course in “Good Credit Practice” 
will be taught in our city schools. We anticipate sound 
future business in our community due to this triumph. 

We urge the National Association to foster this work 
as a major project during 1937. 

If the “bug” bites you as it has bitten us you will de- 
light in writing newspaper “copy” and advertising “con- 
tinuity” for the radio and when your collection percent- 
age surges and some “Brain Truster” announces in an 
exclusive interview that retail credit in the U. S. A. is 
as safe as Government Bonds, you will relax for a mo- 
ment of silent meditation and say, “I helped.” 

So: Let’s Advertise! 


Local, State & National Membership Drives 
(Continued from page 23.) 

bet we are.” This enthusiasm will carry each of us on 

to the finish. Captains and officers will receive full co- 

operation from every member of their team. 

With the selection of the membership chairman and 
committee from our officers for the ensuing year, this 
same contest can be carried on from year to year, on the 
same basis as that of real football teams of the schools. 

We are all, at heart, sportsmen, and who does not want 
a real contest with that fighting spirit—that “old pep”? 
“We will not let the other team win” is the spirit it takes 
to put over a membership drive. Yours for more new 


Prentice Cobb Hale Passes 

Prentice Cobb Hale, active President of Hale Bros. 
Stores, Inc., with headquarters in San Francisco, and a 
pioneer merchant of California, died in New York City, 
November 21, while on a business trip in the interest of 
his firm. He was 78 years of age and had devoted his 
entire life, since boyhood, to the upbuilding of his or- 

“He was a useful citizen,” said the San Francisco Call- 
Bulletin in an editorial, ‘whose long life was of great 
service to the community, the state and the nation. He 
was a builder and what such a man builds lasts long and 
is forever good.” 

A member of the Commonwealth Club of San Fran- 
cisco since 1909, he was a member of its Board of Gover- 
nors from 1923 to 1935, and had been the Club’s Treas- 
urer since 1925. 

Frank Batty, General Credit Manager of the Hale 
Bros. organization, and Past President of the National 
Retail Credit Association, was an honorary pallbearer at 
the funeral services held in San Francisco, November 28. 


Fort Worth Develops Comprehensive 
“Delinquent Account” Letter 

The Fort Worth (Texas) Retail Credit Association 
has, for years, made a practice of sending letters (signed 
by the Secretary) to those whose names appeared as de- 
linquent with two or more members. 

The committee in charge of this work, deciding that 
the letter did not “put over” the idea properly, has de- 
veloped a four-page letter in which the whole story of 
credit is told with words and pictures. Full details will 
be given in our next issue. 

Wedding Bells in Pittsburgh! 
W. Gould Taylor, President of the Retail Credit As- 

sociation of Pittsburgh, Pa., was married last month to 
Miss Madaline McClaren of Oil City, Pa. 

Pittsburgh papers also announced the engagement of 
Harry E. Wilson, Credit Manager of Gimbel Brothers, 
Pittsburgh, to Miss Lois Pauline Hartman of Mount 
Lebanon, Pa. 


Newark Merchants Organize 
Credit Bureau 

The merchants of Newark, N. J., have organized 
their own credit bureau—the Retail Merchants Credit 
Bureau, Inc.—with the following officers: 

President, F. J. Fitzpatrick, Kresge Department Store, 
Newark; Vice-President, Stuart Kirk, Hahne and Co., 
Newark; Secretary-Treasurer, E. I. Amthor, L. Bam- 
berger & Co., Newark. 

Directors: H. Suyker, L. Bamberger & Co., Newark; 
H. E. Barnes, Kresge Department Store, Newark; J. W. 
Bird, Hahne and Co., Newark. 

A large office has been engaged in the center of the 
city, modern equipment will be installed at once, and the 
Bureau will be managed by Mr. D. M. Dempsey who 
has been for the last twelve years with the Credit Bureau 
of Greater New York (and more recently assistant to 
Mr. A. B. Buckeridge, Executive Manager of that 


Commendation for Research Division 

A number of association secretaries have made special 
mention of the value of the monthly figures on “Credit 
Sales and Collection Trends” released by our RESEARCH 
Division. A few of these follow: 

“We think you are doing a good job. Our group ap- 
preciates knowing how other cities are doing. It’s a good 
yardstick.”—Salt Lake City, Utah. 

“The Research Division is doing an outstanding piece 
of work—getting valuable publicity for the National— 
providing information that is accurate and complete.” 

—Kankakee, Ill. 
“We have found these highlights both of interest and 
instructive. Many favorable comments from merchants.” 
—Compton, Calif. 
“Very interesting and indicative of business trends 
throughout the nation.” —Port Huron, Mich. 

“Our newspapers like this information and always run 
it on the front page.”—Evansville, Ind. 

“We find these reports are of considerable value to 
us.”’"—Fort Worth, Texas. 

Credit Control System Wanted 

WANTED to buy secondhand credit control system; 
prefer two tube Rotary Pedestals suitable for 5,000 names 
each. Could possibly use Visible Vertical Panel Racks. 
Quote price and description. Address Box 122, Crepit 


Positions Wanted 

CoLLECTION MANAGER—Desires to make change. 
Law school graduate and duly licensed New Jersey at- 
torney, age 30. Prefer organization in New Jersey but 
will go to Pennsylvania, New York or Delaware for 
good opportunity. Capable and experienced in handling 
and supervising complete collection department. Address 
Box 121, Crepir Wor .p. 

* * * 

Crepir MANAGER—College graduate, 35 years old; 10 
years’ experience in retail credit and finance business. 
Capable of assuming full charge of credit and collection 
department. Address Box 123, Creprr Wor .p. 

“2 » 

Crepir MANAGER—Age 30; ten years’ experience in 
credit granting, most of which was spent with high class, 
Middle West, ready-to-wear house. Has also had ex- 
perience with large department store. Particularly likes 
installment credit and collection work. Address Box 124, 

Crepit Wor -p. 
* * * 

Crepir MANAGER—33 years of age; high school and 
two years’ college education. Fifteen years’ business ex- 
perience in credit and collection management, account- 
ing, purchasing, personnel and office management. Thir- 
teen years with large oil and refining company. Highest 
recommendations as to character and ability. Single. 
Address Box 125, Crepir Wor .p. 

* ** * 

Crepir WoMAN—Fifteen years’ experience as book- 
keeper, cashier, office manager and credit woman. Knows 
how to open and handle accounts and collections. (Also 
knows credit bureau work.) Pleasing personality. Ad- 
dress Box 126, Crepir Wor Lp. 



The Membership Drive Goes Forward 
“On All Fronts” 

N SPITE of heavy retail business and advanced holi- 

day buying throughout the length and breadth of 

the United States and Canada, membership activi- 
ties continue unabated. Many sections, in fact, have 
shown increased activity during the past thirty days. 

Mr. Crowder, who has just returned from a trip 
through Wisconsin and Minnesota, reports enthusiastic 
meetings and a renewed interest in the National Asso- 
ciation in every city visited. 

As an example, he mentioned Eau Claire, Wis., a city 
of 26,287 population, where 285 merchants and credit 
executives and personnel were present at the meeting he 
addressed. Mr. E. C. Amundson, Manager of the North- 
western Credit Bureau, Inc., of Eau Claire, is a hard 
worker and an efficient organizer. 

* * * 

Speaking of Wisconsin, it is the prediction of Aug. C. 
Wehl, President of the Thirteenth District of the Na- 
tional Retail Credit Association (and a former National 
Director), that the state will come across with 300 new 
members by May 31! 

Mr. Wehl, himself, personally closed ten applications 
for local and National membership—by telephone—in one 
afternoon! This just shows what can be done with a lit- 
tle intensive selling effort. 

What one man can do, others can do if—they apply 
the same determination and “go after them.” 

* * * 

Eugene, Oregon, has come in—“‘100 per cent Na- 
tional”—with 121 new National members. We have 
asked Mr. S. H. Seashore, the energetic Secretary of 
Eugene, for further details for the January issue. 

* * * 

Winterset, Iowa, is another newcomer, with 15 new 
National members obtained through the efforts of Foster 
W. Powell, General Manager of the Madison County 
Credit Bureau of Winterset. 

St & 

From Colorado Springs, Colo., E. Bland Cresap, Sec- 
retary- Treasurer of The Credit Reporting Company, has 
sent us a copy of a bulletin front page—the “opening gun” 
in his new membership campaign—with this comment: 

“T am not doing this out of the bigness of my heart, 
but because I firmly believe that our own members who 
receive and study The Crepir Wor Lp will appreciate and 
use our services more than those who go along in the 
same old rut without being aware of the constant changes 
going on in the field of retail credit. 

“Here’s hoping our combined efforts here will result 
in more National members—a better local association— 
and a stronger credit bureau.” 

* * * 

Pittsburgh, Pa., continues its stride, having sent in 38 
new members during November! 
* * * 

Kansas City, Mo., also sent in 16—Modesto, Calif., 10 

—and Memphis, Tenn., 6—new members for November. 


Jefferson City, Mo., through the enthusiastic efforts 
of S. R. Peltason, Manager of the Jefferson City Credit 
Bureau, has gone “100 per cent National,” having al- 
ready sent in 17 new National members. We quote from 
Mr. Peltason’s letter: 

“We have definitely decided that the local association 
will be 100 per cent National and, apparently, we will 
have around 30 members by January 1. 

“Tf I know my merchants and city correctly, about 20 
additional members will come in after we start activi- 
ties.” , 

. * - 

Texas, under the leadership of C. A. Caldwell of 
Dallas, is staging a state-wide membership campaign and 
we expect to hear of some real results from there by the 
time the campaign closes next May. 


And, last but not least, Nashville, Tenn.—last month’s 
“challenger.” As this article was being written, we re- 
ceived the following telegram: 


And that, we believe, is what is called the “last word’! 

Membership Blank 

National Retail Credit Association 
1218 Olive St., St. Louis, Mo. 

I hereby apply for one year’s membership in your 
Association, subject to acceptance by you and by 
your recognized unit in this locality. I enclose $5.00 
which I understand entitles me to all the privileges 
of membership, including a year’s subscription to 
“The Credit World.” 


Recommended By 






... A “give-and-take” page, wherein readers 
may ask—and answer—questions about their 
credit and collection problems and solve them 
in the laboratory of practical experience... 

aS Wh. 

How the John Taylor Dry Goods Company 
Handles Auditing and Billing 

AST month, The Crepir CLinic published a sum- 
marized analysis of the methods used by fifty de- 
partment stores in auditing and billing charge sales 

and cash receipts. The material was taken from a con- 
fidential study (Number 32) made by the RESEARCH 
Division of the National Retail Credit Association. 

H. J. Burris, Manager Monthly Charge Account 
Sales, John Taylor Dry Goods Company, Kansas City, 
made such a detailed and comprehensive contribution to 
this study that we asked his permission to publish it for 
the benefit of all readers. It follows: 

Our charge sales tickets have an audit voucher at- 
tached to the top of the ticket, the audit voucher and the 
sales ticket separated by a perforated line which makes 
them easier to detach. We have a very large Sorter- 
Graf machine located immediately adjacent to the charge 
authorizing station in the Tube Room. As charges are 
authorized there, they are turned over to the girl who 
operates the Sorter-Graf. 

She accumulates the authorized tickets in reasonable- 
size bunches and is equipped with a Comptometer and a 
Burroughs Adding Machine. She proves the mathe- 
matical correctness of all tickets going through her hands; 
then she runs a list of the totals on the audit vouchers. 
These two totals, of course, must agree, proving that the 
amount turned over to the Credit Department and the 
amount turned over to the Auditors on the audit vouchers 
are the same. 

The Sorter-Graf girl sorts the sales slips into the 
Sorter-Graf machine as soon as she has proved them. 
She also sorts the audit vouchers into a separate unit, ac- 
cording to departments and clerk numbers. At the end of 
the day, all she has to do is strike a total on the subtotals 
she has been accumulating during the day and that will 
be the grand total of the day’s work, to be turned over to 
the two departments. 

You will see that the Auditing Department does not 
have to wait on the Credit Department and the Credit 
Department does not have to wait on the Auditing De- 
partment. Each has its own work which has been proved 
and we have absolutely no trouble in keeping the two 
departments together with their figures. 

The Sorter-Graf machine breaks down the sorting so 
fine that it is not necessary to re-sort the work before it 
can be used in the Bookkeeping Department; this, you 
can readily see, is a very great saver of time and expense. 

We hire a stuffer or helper for every bookkeeper and 
we never run double shifts in either the Credit or Audit- 


ing Department. Occasionally the Bookkeeping Depart- 
ment will work until nine o’clock at night but this does 
not happen often and they never work later than nine. 

We think it a very good idea to have an assistant for 
each bookkeeper as it is always hard to go out on the 
open market and get a good machine bookkeeper; so we 
train the helpers to be able to take the places of the reg- 
ular bookkeepers (if they leave us or should be absent for 
any reason). We have found this plan to be very 

Now, in regard to the time elapsing before a day’s 
work is actually posted to the ledgers, this naturally 
must depend a great deal on conditions. There are times 
when we post “this morning’s” work “this afternoon.” 
Most of the time we post “today’s” work “tomorrow,” 
but this cannot be done immediately following the first 
of the month when the bookkeepers get three days behind 
(running off their monthly trial balances and bringing 
forward the previous month’s balances to the new state- 
ments ). 

A sale week or the period around Christmas oftentimes 
will make the volume going through the Bookkeeping 
Department so very heavy that the work cannot be kept 
up, but we have always been able to catch up with a few 
evenings’ work up to nine o'clock. For this we pay our 
bookkeeping staff their “supper money” of 50c each and 
regular time for overtime. 

Our bookkeepers’ assistants do all the preliminary 
work, such as proving against the Sorter-Graf girl’s fig- 

What’s Your Problem? 

You are invited to make this page your page 
—for the solution of any problems of credit 
practice or procedure which may confront you. 

Or if you have a special problem on which 
you wish private information, our Research 
Division will gladly make a special “confiden- 
tial” study for you, obtaining the desired infor- 
mation from reliable sources. 

ures, the cashier’s figures and offsetting the trays, which 
we do instead of actually stuffing the tickets in them, 
and they also prelist all items to be posted and pick up 
the old balances on the bookkeepers’ proof sheets. 

These sheets with the tickets are then turned over to 
the bookkeeper and the bookkeeper’s figures have to tally 
with the figures predetermined by the bookkeeper’s as- 
sistant. You will see that with this system we have all 
the advantages of a dual system for accuracy, yet we run 
a unit system. ; 


Who Says the Credit Man 
Is Not Sales-Minded? 

Credit Manager, J. F. Hink and Son, Berkeley, Calif. 

O MUCH has been written by salesmen, sales man- 
S agers, advertising managers, store managers—and 
even credit managers—about the credit man not be- 
ing sales-minded that it has become positively nauseating! 
No matter what happens to prevent a sale, it is always 
the credit department that is at fault. A salesman may 
spend hours trying to make a good sale but—if the credit 
information he turns in with his sale is erroneous, incom- 
plete or the name misspelled—if the application contains 
any number of mistakes that are made by salesmen in 
taking a credit application—all of which handicap the 
credit bureau in working its report up intelligently and 
quickly enough to suit the customer or comply with 
promises made by the salesman—then the credit depart- 
ment is at fault! 

The advertising manager may (and does) spend hun- 
dreds of dollars on an ad to bring customers into the 
store but—if the credit department turns down or re- 
jects the applications of a few of the many customers who 
apply for credit in order to take advantage of the adver- 
tisement—then the credit department is “throwing busi- 
ness (that the advertising department brought in) out the 
front door.” 

In the appliance departments, great stress (in adver- 
tising) is placed on “no down payment,” also “terms of 
24 to 36 months” or, possibly, “the first payment may be 
made in from 60 to 90 days from date.” The fact that 
credit terms are being sold and not merchandise is ig- 
nored. It does not take a smart sales manager or adver- 
tising manager to tell the world it may buy merchandise 
now for nothing down and “payments of only a few 
cents a day.” Even an ignorant credit man could do that, 
were he so foolish! 

Who gets the credit when sales are increased because 
of too liberal terms of credit being granted? Does the 
credit man? No! 

The advertising manager and the sales manager do. 
If an up-and-coming credit manager should tell one of 
his applicants for credit that he might buy $100.00 
worth of appliances for $90.00, would the store manager 
give him a gold medal? “Oh, Yeah!” 

No, it isn’t legitimate to upset any apple cart but the 
credit man’s; but it’s open season the year ’round to 
throw the hooks into the credit department and nearly 
everyone is glad-handed for doing so. Sales managers 
and advertising managers seem to believe they have 
thought up something big and very commendable when 
they advertise and cheapen credit, but any dumb-bell can 

give something away. Even a poor credit man might do 


It is all very fine to promote long-term credit, pro- 
vided the selling force does it and leaves the future grief 
up to the credit and collection departments. If the credit 
man turns down a poor credit risk, he is not sales-minded 
but, if he has a loss because he has been sales-minded 
enough to take on a border-line risk, then he “should 
have known better than to grant the credit in the first 

Is it not about time for the credit man to speak up 
for himself instead of accepting all the criticism that is 
being heaped upon him? 

I maintain that the credit man is always sales-minded 
but the salesman never credit-minded. Most salesmen 
are more commission-minded than sales-minded and that 
goes for the sales manager as well. 

It has been said that were it not for the selling force, 
we would all be out of a job. Very true. 

It should also be said that were it not for the money 
being collected for the sales made there would not be any 
merchandise for the salesmen to sell. ‘So, what the 
hell ?” 

If we were to grant credit to every poor credit risk 
that our advertisement of cheap credit terms brought into 

The Worm Turns! 

“I have heard so much comment about the 
credit manager not being sales-minded enough,” 
wrote Mr. Macoon, when submitting this arti- 
cle, “that it has finally got under my skin to 
such an extent that I had to have a few words 
typed relating to that subject.” (Editor’s 
Note: It’s good reading, too!) 

the store, we would not only lose our jobs but the sales- 
men would soon be without a commission check—and 
that really would be the credit man’s fault! 
Editorial Comment 
(Continued from page 2.) 

at their face value because the N. R. C. A. is recognized 
for its accurate fact-finding. 

The merchants, property owners and residents should 
be proud of this statement, because it shows that the aver- 
age citizen here has a good credit standing and wants to 
keep it that way, and does maintain it by paying promptly 
—when one stops to consider that the national average 
for increased store collections was 5.3 per cent and 
Lauderdale showed a 25 per cent gain, or slightly over 
four times more than the countrywide mark! 


Two Inserts for “New Year” 

ERE are two special inserts, designed especially 

for use as statement enclosures during the New 

Year period. They can be used singly or as a 
series of two—one in December, the other in January. 

Chinese Custom 

N CHINA, the ancients, at 
oJ the beginning of the New 
Year, following a time-hon- 
ored custom, called on all their credi- 
tors—and paid their bills—in full! 
The New Year is a time of good 
resolutions—a good time to arrange to 
pay all past due bills and then—ar- 
range finances so that future bills can 
be paid promptly when they are due 
or according to agreement. 
Prompt payment builds a good 
credit record and promotes prosperity. 

bills promptly and protect it! 

National Retail Credit 

Executive = 



(PRINTED IN U. 8. A.) 

A good credit record is priceless. Pay all 

The insert above urges payment of all bills—in full— 
as a good beginning for the New Year. For this reason 
it should be enclosed in “end-of-December” statements. 

Printed in bright red and gteen inks, it has an “eye- 
catching” attractiveness which assures its being read. 
This same message can be furnished in mats for news- 
paper advertising also; this would give added strength to 
the enclosures. (6” x 9”—$1.50; 4” x 6”, $1.25.) 

We recommend that local associations combine the re- 
quirements of their members—order enough inserts to 
take care of all of them—and also use the mats in news- 
paper ads to appear immediately after Christmas. 


On such orders—if in sufficient quantity—we will 
gladly quote special prices with the name and address of 
the local association (instead of the National’s) imprinted. 
Orders to be imprinted must be received at once to assure 
delivery in time for December statements. 

The insert below can be used singly or in January 
statements as a follow-up to the December insert. 

However, the use of the two inserts in conjunction 
with the newspaper ad mentioned above will give your 
community a combination newspaper and direct mail 
“New Year’s” pay-promptly campaign that will prove 
doubly effective. 

The price of either insert is $2.50 per thousand, post- 
paid. Actual size of inserts is shown by dotted lines. 

“T’ve Turned Over 
A New Leaf, Son!” 

“I’ve made just one New Year’s resolu- 
tion—to pay my bills promptly when 
they’re due. 

“The ups and downs of last year taught 
me the value of a good credit record. I’m 
going to pay my bills on the tenth of the 
month from now on. 

“That’s a mighty good resolution for 
you, too, Son!” 

National Retail Credit 

Executive Offices St. Louis, Mo. 

(Order from your credit bureau or the National Of- 

For further information write the National Retail 
Credit Association, 1218 Olive St., St. Louis, Mo. 


“The First Four Pages of Your Blue 

Book of Credit and Collection Letters Are 
Worth the Price I Paid for It!” 

HIS book, prepared especially for the members of 

this Association, contains tested, proved collection 

letters; letters to revive inactive accounts and letters 
to bring in new accounts; “skeleton” letter ideas that 
you can adapt to your own letters. 

Letters for every credit and collection department need 
—33 of them—any one of them worth more than the spe- 
cial price we have made on this book. 

“Good horse sense in every line of it,” wrote one mem- 
ber. ‘Wonderful letters”; wrote another, “and worth 
plenty to retailers who will use them.” Hundreds of 
letters complimenting the book have been received. 
Read the typical letter at the left. 

A glance at the subtitles will give you an idea of its 

Read the Letter: 


Make Your Letters More Effective—With the 
“You” Viewpoint 

The Secret of Prompt Collections—Uniform 
‘Credit Procedure 

Starting New Accounts Off Right (With a 

With reference to the Blue Book of 
Credit and Collection Letters, which the 
writer purchased a short time back: 

I am frank to say I think the intro- 
ductory or first four pages of this book 
are worth the price I paid for it. 

These pages contain good sound ad 
vice that is worth a great deal to any- 
one in credit work and more espe- 
cially to those who are just starting 
out. If I were a beginner I would not 
be without this little book for twice 
the price. 

I think the letters are splendid and 
the whys and wherefores that go with 
them are so helpful, I do not believe 
anyone in this line of work will ever 
regret the purchase of one. 

Yours very truly, 
L. V. Gibbs, Credit Mgr. 
M. Levy Co., Inc. 
Shreveport, La. 

peers @ amma 

National Retail Credit Association 

1218 Olive Street 

series of letters for use on new accounts) 

Educating Old Customers to Pay Promptly 
(With a series of letters for use on old ac- 

Installment or Budget Account Letters 
Special Letters for Special Problems 

Letters to Revive Inactive Accounts (With re- 
ports of actual results) 

Letters That Build New Charge Account Busi- 
ness (Actual letters shown) 


(To members only; to nonmembers, 

$1.50 postpaid) 

Over 7000 copies now in use by National Members! 

St. Louis, Missouri 

Keep vour customers — PLEASED 

Collection letters may be perfect 
examples of tact, yelb many cus- 
Lomers resent the most reasonable 
requests ... Somehow people pre- 
fer to transact their financial busi- 
ness with banking houses. 

You may satisfy this preference 
through an arrangement with Mor- 
ris Plan in one of the cities below. 
Such an arrangement will enable 

your customers to amortize their 
indebtedness in a confidential, con- 
venient manner—while your store 
will receive immediate cash pay- 
ment in full. 

The same fair terms and rates apply 
Jo the financing of new purchases. 
Your nearest Morris Plan, or this 
Association, will gladly help you 
keep your customers — pleased. 

Axron, On10 
Aveany, New York 
Arpmore, Ox ta. 
Asnevitie, N.C. 
ATLANTA, Georcia 
Ausurn, N. Y. 
Baxtimore, Marytanp 
Bartesvitte, Oxia. 
Berxe ey, Cat. 
BincuamrTon, N. Y. 
Boston, Mass. 
Brivcerort, Conn. 
Brockton, Mass. 
Burravo, New Yor 
Camprivce, Mass. 
Cepar Rapips, Iowa 
Cnartorre, N. C. 



Cincinnati, On10 
Crevecanp, On10 
Dattas, Texas 
Davenport, Iowa 
Dayton, On10 
Denver, CoLorapo 
Des Moines, Iowa 
Dututn, MInNnEsoTA 
Fort Wayne, Inv. 
Fort Wortn, Texas 
Hartrorp, Conn. 
Hotyoxe, Mass. 
Kansas City, Mo. 
KNoxvitie, Tenn. 
Lawrence, Mass. 



Lewiston, Maine 
Louisvitie, Ky. 
Mavpen, Mass, 
Minneapatis, Minn. 
New Beprorp, Mass. 
New Haven, Conn. 
Newport, R, I. 
Newport News, Va. 
New York, N., Y. 
Norroik, VirGinia 
Oax.anp, CAL. 

Oxvanoma City, Ox a. 

PeTerssurc, VIRGINIA 
PutLapvecenia, Pa. 
Puoenix, Arizona 
Portianp, Maine 

Provipence, R. I 
Roanoke, VIRGINIA 
Rocnester, N. Y. 
Roxeury, Mass. 

Sr. Paut, Minn. 
San Antonio, Texas 
San Francisco, Cat. 
Scuenectapy, N. Y. 
Suawnee, Oxra. 
Sprincrievp, Mass. 
Sprincrie_p, Omo 
Srocxton, Cat. 
Syracuse, N. Y. 
Tampa, Fioripa 
Terre Haute, Inpb. 

Torexa. Kansas 
Tutsa, Oxra. 

Utica, New Yorx 
Wasuincron, D.C. 
Wartersury, Cann. 
Warter.oo, Iowa 
Wester y, R. I. 
Wesr Warwick, R. I. 
Wicurta, Kansas 
Wicaincron, De . 
Wimincron, N. C. 
Winston-Sacem, N. C. 
Woonsocket. R. I. 
Worcester, Mass. 
Yonxers, N. Y. 
Yor, Pennsytvania 

800 East Matin STREET