No significant downward trend in prices has been noticed or is foreseen by seven Square merchants questioned by the CRIMSON yesterday. While slight price drops have occurred in furniture, cotton goods, and certain foods, the merchants indicated that hikes in the cost of woollens and meat are a distinct possibility this spring.
The president of one Square department store explained the air of uncertainty which was characteristic of all the local retailers. "Two and two makes four," he said, "but nobody seems to know what two and two are these days. There are just too many factors such as taxes, wages, and cost of materials to consider.
"Trade newspapers make an attempt to do our crystal ball gazing for us, but I've found them quite unreliable. The only thing we can do is to keep up with the trends and move the minute we notice changes in them.
All of the merchants complained of decreases in sales volumes, but they attributed the drops to the shrinkage of the Harvard student body rather than to an economic trend.
John Menton, manager of the Roger Kent clothing store, claimed that prices would not drop within the next five months in spite of the fact that his business is slower than last year.
"In fact there's more chance that prices will go up rather than down because the cost of Australian wool is 25 percent higher this year," Menton said.
Optimism pervaded farther west on Mount Auburn st. at J. Press. "Lot's of people in this business are nervous, but I can't see why," said manager Al Goro. "Sure business is a little slower and its my opinion that prices will case off a little."
The Gold Coast Valeteria reported that though its operating cost was up, it guaranteed no raise in its current rates.
No change in book prices is anticipated. Publishers have not raised their prices, fearing consumer resistance, and consequently they will keep book prices up even when publishing costs go down in order to regain lost profits during the last two years, the manager of Phillips Book Store explained.
A decided drop in food prices has been felt by the Wursthaus, but its proprietors claim the slump is seasonal and food costs can be expected to curve up again in the spring.
Briggs and Briggs Radio and Record Shop asserted that prices in this field will be stable for several years.