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That the Harvard Cooperative Society at the time of the stock crash last fall experienced a slump in business similar to that felt after the World War of 1914 was announced yesterday by G.E. Cole, manager of the concern.
From a report of business transacted between July 1, 1929 and April 30, 1930, the Harvard branch of the Society gained on an average of four percent every month, with the exception of December 1929, when the gain was only four tenths of one percent. Over the same period of time, the Business School branch gained seven and one-half percent, while the Technology branch gained three and one-half percent. Of all the departments on the Harvard Square store the ready-to-wear clothing department led in gain.
In the month of November 1929, the gain was very slight. Conditions followed the post-war situation with the falling off in sales at the Coop following the stock market curve, instead of the industrial curve, by which the business of retailers as a whole is affected. At the start of the crash, industry kept up to about its former pace, and it was not until the crash was well under way that the industrial curve took a decided downward dip.
Industrial curves set the business of most retailers since if men are out of work, or are on part time jobs, they do not feel as prosperous as if their work is steady. On the other hand, much of the University trade is based on the condition of the stocks of New York, since many undergraduates and parents are investors.
The fact that Easter came in April this year instead of in March still affects the clothing business, according to Cole, although not nearly as much as it did several years ago when everyone felt that he had to have a new suit of clothes for this great occasion. To be sure, business in Boston suffered a nine percent loss in March, and a 12 percent gain in April, but at the Coop the differences were not noticeable.
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