R. B. Foster’s Spot Cash Store had been in business in Skidmore for many years. Mr. Foster’s business evolved as time went on, and he stopped in 1915 to explain his current business philosophy to the readers of the December 23 edition of The New Era:
R. B. Foster’s Cash Store.
Jan. 1st, 1916, my business will be placed upon a strictly cash and produce basis.
The above may sound strange to many, however, it is the correct heading for this announcement, and is my honest conviction, that it is the correct way of doing business, after having tried both methods.
When I started in business in Skidmore it was on an absolute cash basis, and I was doing a nice little business on a very small capital, but because of conditions explained below, I gradually drifted to a regular credit business.
Taking goods on approval might be considered the first step toward a credit business, then selling small bills to be paid in a few days, say Saturday night, might be called the second step.
Then delivering goods in town and presenting the bill on the first of the month, it not being convenient for the wife to keep money in the house to pay for goods as they were delivered, is step No. three.
All of the above conditions are all right, IF everyone would pay every thirty days, BUT in lieu of getting our money every thirty days, have been carrying from $2500 which is about as low as it ever gets, up to $6000 and $7000 on our books, which is not a profitable thing to do, as we are compelled to borrow too much money.
There is just one of three things to do:
First — We must put at least 10 per cent more profit on our goods and continue doing as we have in the past. (All merchants are compelled to do this who sell on time and continue solvent.)
Second — Sell goods for a cash price on a time basis and lose money.
Third — Sell goods for cash or produce on delivery at the lowest possible cash price.
This third proposition we are going to adopt January 1st, 1916. We wish to emphasize the fact that we are going to live up to this proposition to the letter.
No man, no difference how well off he is financially, can buy goods at our store on time, not even take goods on approval, for it was from these small favors that our present credit business grew.
But any goods bought at our store, and if from any cause is not satisfactory you may return same and your money will be refunded, without a word.
We wish to state now that if you happen to be the person who asks for credit after the first of the year, and there will be some who will, do not consider the refusal as personal for it will be absolutely against our fixed policy and under the circumstances we could do nothing but refuse to sell for other than cash or produce.
In conclusion, we ask for your business on the basis of the best goods at the lowest price.
R. B. Foster, Skidmore, Mo.