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EVENING liBDGER-RHlL'ADEEPHlA TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1915:
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WHY DID THESE MILLS FAIL?
Twelve hosiery mills in Philadelphia either liquidated or failed last year.
The hosiery industry of the United States had its foundation in Philadelphia in 1683-.
- For many years Philadelphia led the country in the production of hosiery. In 1909 her manufactures
of. hosiery and other knit goods amounted to $24,000,000.
Today this industry in Philadelphia is admittedly on the decline. It controls no market. It is
made up of many small mills, and nine out of ten of these mills sell to some commission house in New
York, which has other lines within its own organization competing with the Philadelphia line.
The reason for this condition is that Philadelphia hosiery mill owners confine their thought to,
manufacturing and make no attempt to study selling. They seem to be content to work for bare wages, '
and they take the easiest outlet that they find open for their goods.
Already the South has wrested from Philadelphia practically all control of the bulk goods. The
South also took most of this class of trade from New England. One hosiery mill in New England, how
ever, decided that it would fight, and make a market of its own. By national advertising it did so. It
is now selling considerably more than 50 per cent, of its goods under its own name, and has laid the
foundation for a permanent, prosperous business controlled by the mill itself.
One Philadelphia hosiery manufacturer, who had been selling widely under private retail jobbing brands,
adopted a trademark and began to advertise. Of the first 300 retail stores whom he approached, 298 put
his trademark brand on their shelves and began to sell it. That business today is growing very large.
In another case, two men who knew nothing whatever about hosiery came to Philadelphia, bought
a, mill, went out and bought the mechanical skill they needed, and began to manufacture hosiery,
and to advertise it. They didn't have to know anything about making it. What they knew was how
to sell it. Today this firm is one of the marvels of the hosiery industry.
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The crux of the whole matter is that in these days it is infinitely easier to manufacture goods
than to sell goods. You can hire men who know how to handle machines and operatives. But you
cannot sell these goods without doing real work careful choice of policies, hard preparation, energetic
salesmanship, sound advertising all are necessary. And as with everything else, the man who does
the hard work gets the big rewards, and the man who drags along in the easy way, loses.
The great brands of hosiery are those of New York and the West, which are sold as well as
manufactured the brands which are nationally advertised.
More than a dozen manufacturers of hosiery invested in national advertising last year a-total-of
more than $300,000, " , . - "
Only one of these was in Philadelphia, which has more than 150 knitting mills and which was
for so many years the center of the industry.
Is it any wonder that Philadelphia hosiery mills fail?
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The Saturday Evening Post The Country Gentleman :
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The Curtis publishing Company
independence Square Philadelphia
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