Many interesting facts are revealed by a comparison of the business operations for the year 1911-12 of the Harvard Co-operative Society with other institutions of a like nature at several representative American universities. While the total sales made at the Harvard store for the past year practically equals the combined sales of the co-operative stores at the Universities of Wisconsin, Yale, Princeton, and California made during the same period, all of the above stores have declared a higher dividend than at the Harvard Co-operative. This may be accounted for in part by the fact that the Co-operative not only declares a dividend on the total purchases of members but also attempts wherever practicable to lessen prices to non-members. On the other hand, while the following table shows that the Yale dividend was 15 per cent, this merely represents the reduction made in the price to members at the time of the sale. No cash dividend is paid on total sales at the end of the year. At the University Co-operative Company, University of Wisconsin, there is, in addition to the 10 per cent dividend declared at the end of the year, an alternative 17 per cent dividend to be taken out in trade, this being done in order to reduce the stock on hand during the summer months. It will also be noticed that the membership of the Wisconsin store is over 9,000, a fact due to all memberships being taken out for life. The plan is based on the belief that life-members will take a greater interest in the successful transaction of the society's business than mere yearly members.
Comparison in Memberships.
With the exception of the University of California, where no additional fee is required of students desiring to become members of the Co-operative store, the Princeton University Store has the largest percentage of the total enrolled student body as members of any of the universities whose statistics are here presented.
In conclusion then, it may be said that the co-operative store idea has taken firm hold at the American universities where it has been proved that by the combination of faculty supervision and finance, professional office management, and undergraduate support the store can be made a complete success.
A complete comparison in tabular form of the business transactions for the year 1911-12 of the above stores follows: