LECTURE ON RETAIL TRADE
In Union Last Night by Robert C. Ogden.--Opportunity for College Men.
Mr. R. C. Ogden gave an interesting lecture in the Union last evening on retail trade as a profession for college men. This was the second of the series of lectures on the professions arranged by the Governing Board of the Union. The speaker said that he realized that business has not the glamour for the university man which is possessed by such professions as medicine, law, and engineering. Narrow-minded prejudice against trade is, however, giving way to a new order of judgment, a spirit of true democracy, which recognizes a man by his deeds. The management of the department store, in all its complicated details, requires the greatest of intelligence and foresight. Each department must be handled with particular consideration, for the amount of capital and stock for the different branches of the business cannot be generalized. A system adequate for the successful operation of such a business is necessarily complicated in the extreme. The merchant must know how often to turn over every class of merchandise, and when and how much to risk is a matter of daily consideration. Special alertness is required for stocks in which there are changes of styles, whereas the demand for some articles can be counted on to follow regular lines.
The most important factor in the management of the department store is the personal element, which is essential to success. Care, good breeding, intelligence, and fidelity are indispensable, and there is a field for originality and intellectual growth. Though the retail business has reached a high level, there will always be a vast opportunity for men with first-class executive and financial ability to broaden and improve the business profession.