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THE NEWS-HERALD, HILLSBORO, OHIO, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1914.
WAR sM MERCHANDISE
Having had so many inquiries from my customers as to what effect the War in foreign countries would
have .on merchandise in this country, I offer this as an answer to these many inquiries. Before
going farther let me say that I do not want to assume the role of an alarmist. I am not one and have
no use for anyone who is. What I am about to give you are cold facts that you cannot get away from.
TO begin with you already know that we are depen
dent (and we should be ashamed of it) upon these
countries for many, many of our every-day nec
essities and largely dependent for our luxuries. The
calamity, for it is nothing less, which has befallen the
great powers of Europe, is so terrible and the outcome
so uncertain, that one individual's surmise is as good
as another's ; but one thing is certain, even if the war
is of short duration, before the militia is disbanded and
the men resume their work at the various factories, the
number killed, wounded our disabled in one way or an
other, will materially make a shortage of labor and be
fore stocks can be replenished on this side to any great
extent, many months niubt certainly elapse. When
you consider that nations representing half the popu
lation of the earth, have withdrawn practically all of
the producing element from the activities of commerce
and production, you will know that it means a great
shortage of merchandise for months to come. Such a
conflict not only stops production, but destroys that
which hat already been produced. We are the only
neutral nation, large in a geographical, commercial and
manufacturing sense. It therefore devolves upon us not
only to supply our own wants and needs, but likewise to
feed and clothe other nations. Can you figure out any
other answer but a shortage in desirab'e merchandise?
The merchants who are in the market now are finding
a shortage of desirable goods. I say DESIRABLE
GOODS, for we can always find goods of some kind.
But the desirable goods, the kind you want, the kind
that have the style and snap to them, have all been
bought from the importers by the early buyers.
Only a few days ago I received a congrat
ulatory letter from a kid glove importer, con
gratulating me upon my early purchase of
Kid Gloves. He informed me that I had saved
for myself and my customers from $1.50 to
$4.00 per dozen on the gloves I had bought
early. He also states that the war has paral
ized glove manufacturing and shipping abroad
No gloves have left Europe since August 1st
and no more can leave until the war is over.
Linens have become a household necessity. Just
stop for one minute and think how many uses you have
for linens of the different kinds in your homes. You
know where linens come from. You know they don't
come from Indiana. You know they all come from a
broad. You know linens by these names, don't you:
German Linen Irish Linen? Now do you think that
these warring nations are going to produce more linen
or less linen? Less linen of course, and don't you
know that a curtailment "of production means higher
prices. Seven-eights of all Flax used in the European
linen industry comes from Russia.
There was a linen salesman in my store
last week and after looking over my stock of
table linens, linen sheetings, art linens, etc., he
made this remark : "You are certainly a for
tunate merchant to have made your linen pur
chases and get them in your store before the
big advance which is now on." He advised
me to mark all my linens up about 33$. I
informed him that such would not be the case.
I puchased them, at the low price and that my
customers would be" protected. THERE
WILL BE NO WAR PRICES AT THIS
STORE UNTIL I AM FORGED TO DO IT.
I would advise my customers to make their pur
chases early this fall before the present stock bought
at the old prices is exhausted. Now, my reason for
this advice is this every bill that comes in for Coat
Suits and Cloaks has notes like this at the bottom of it:
Your next order for such a suit or coat will be
$1, $2, $3 or $4 more than at present prices.
So you see the people who buy from my first
shipments of Suits and Cloaks will be the wi-e
Imported Hosiery is another article which you all
wear and which will be greatly effected by the war.
Much of the foreign hosiery will never reach American
soil this fall. The merchants who are in the market
now are finding that the first importations of foreign
dress goods have all been' picked up by the early buy
ers and they are having to buy what they can get.
Now here is an item you probably had
overlooked or possibly had not thought of
BURLAP. Do you know what it is, what it is
used for, where it comes from? It is made
from a jute grown in India only. It is sent to
Scotland in the raw state. TheJScotchnian
weaves it into course cloth called Burlap.
Now do you know what this burlap is used
for? Let me tell you. It is the foundation or
background for every yard of Oil Cloth or
Linoleum used on your floors. The Scotch
are now using the last of the 1913 crop. The
American manufacturers may have sufficient
stock on hands to last only a few weeks. Lin
oleums and Oil Cloths have already advanced
and a greater advance is expected at any
time. Another material which enters largely
into the manufacture of Linoleum' is Cork
waste. All quotations have been withdrawn
on this article, and while the war lasts there
is no possibility of replenishing supplies. I
would also advise you to buy your Linoleum
right now while the present low price is on.
Don't let me leave the impression that Oil Cloths
and Linoleums are not manufactured in the United
States. They are manufactured here in quantities but
the burlap, cork-waste and wood-flours all comefrom '
Scotland, Scandanavia and Germany, and there is lit
tle chance to do business with these countries now
they have troubles of their own just now. This is
what I get from Linoleum makers : "Our prices are
subject to advance without notice, and orders
are subject to acceptance by us when re
ceived. I am glad to inform you that 1 have
a large stock of Linoleum in my store, bought
at the low prices, and you will get the advan
tage ot the low prices as long as the present
I could go on for a day and tell you of things, the
price of which will be effected by the war, things you
use every day Laces, Nets, Trimmings, fancy But
tons, Hair Nets, Suap Buttous, Hooks and Eyes and
a hundred other articles. Piench Vals, German Vals,
Irish Crochet and a dozen other fine laces all come not
from New York or Chicago, but from the war zones.
Consequently the prices must advance.
Here is a quotation from an importing house
which imports Laces, Trimmings and Embroideries:
"It is impos-ible to guarantee prices or the
delivery of goods. Nets have advanced 20 to
30$ and we limit all customers to one piece
each, style and color.'' That looks like a scarcity
and also looks like higher prices.
Japanese Silks, the kind that almost every lady is
now using for shirt wa sts, the raw material all comes
from Japan and you know the little Jap well enough to
know that if they need the silk worm to help them
fight they will draft him into service. Hence a short
age of this much used article and higher prices.
Now you may say that the Americans can manu
facture these goods. Not yet. That is the shame of
it, we have not schooled ourselves for this. In times
of peace we should have prepared ourselves. These
foreign countries have been furnishing us with these
different things so long that we have not bothered our
selves about it.
We have not yet arrived at the place where we
can compete with them on the goods which I have
mentioned. We have not specialized on many of the
things which we should have. For instance, 90$ of
our dyes are imported from Germany. When it comes
to high grade dyes fully 100$ comes from Germany.
At present there is only one to three months supply in
this country. These dyes are coal tar preparations,
in which German chemists have specialized. Even if
the capital and skill were forthcoming, it would be
more than six months before enough dyes could be
manufactured in this country to meet the demand.
The price of dye stuffs has already jumped
IOOjJ. This means an advance in all other
colored goods manufactured here. It means
higher prices on domestic hosiery, silks, rib
Do you. know that all your sewing needles come
from abroad? Do you know that all fancy pins come
from Germany? Do you know that all D. M. G. Cot
ton comes from abroad?
And do you know that it has advancedjm
Now I have set forth only thelmorejimportant articles and given you the facts as to what effect the wai will have upon them and upon
the prices of them. I want to assure you that my entire fall stock of goods mentioned'in this article was bought before War was declared
and before any advance in prices. I also want to assure you that I am not going to take advantage of this purchase but will give my
customers every advantage whichll have gained by my early purchases. I would advise again, early buying, for as I have shown you,
PRICES MUST ADVANCE, and many merchants are already paying the advance price on their fall purchases. There is a good reason
for the advance of all the goods which I have mentioned in this article. I have tried to make that reason very plain to you.
CHAS. M. KERNS
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