Believe it or not, the first one-price store came from a talentless salesperson. And the name of this unsuccessful seller was Frank Woolforth - a man who, by the end of his life, became the owners of an entire trading empire.
Frank was born in 1852 in the American outback, and by the age of 20 he was pretty tired of agricultural work. True, the guy with no education did not have much choice, therefore, the only place where he could get a job was a shop in the provincial town of Lancaster.
However, the salesman from Frank Woolforth came out even more worthless than the farmer. A shy seller could not bargain with buyers, especially since there were no price tags in the stores at that time, the final cost of the goods was determined after a long bargaining between the seller and the client, and Frank was afraid of customers like fire.
Not surprisingly, the store owner soon decided to fire such an employee, but gave him one last chance. He said that he would leave Wulforth in the store if he worked the whole day alone, and the daily earnings would be no less than that of other sellers.
Out of despair, Frank took a bold step - he attached a piece of paper with a price to each product in order to save himself from a dispute with customers. And the small stale "illiquid" generally dumped on the counter, setting the sign "all for 5 cents." The seller himself hid behind the counter, and waited in horror - what would happen next?
And then everything went great - the buyers just paid the money and left. And the goods for 5 cents were generally sold out instantly. By the end of the day, the surprised owner discovered that the cash was not a daily, but a weekly amount. He decided to make the five-cent sale permanent in his store.
But, Woolforth was not interested in this, he decided to open his own store of goods at one price. Soon, a fixed-price store appeared in Lancaster, and thrifty shoppers were eager to visit it. The first store was opened in 1879, and by 1919 Woolforth's trading empire numbered more than 1, 000 outlets. Frank's fortune was estimated at $ 65 million.
In 1913, the grandiose "House of Woolforth", 238 meters high, was opened in Manhattan. Of course, the building was too big for the store, therefore, about 4, 000 American companies opened their offices in it, and even US President W. Wilson took part in the opening ceremony. Until 1930, the "House of Woolforth" was the tallest building on the planet.
The millionaire Woolforth died in April 1919. But the supermarket chain Frank founded still exists today. True, the goods in them are already far from 5 cents.