Those who are complaining of the high prices of women's wearing apparel will he interested in the results of -the past, year's trading of the wholesale drapery houses (says the London "Times" of January 28). So far only a few reports have been issued, but these show that the wholesalers have enjoyed-an exceedingly prosperous time during the- war. Profits have increased enormously. • In one case they are nearly 12 times those for 1913, while in another they must have been about £275,000 higher before excess profits duty was deducted.
The Fare Street Warehouse Company, Limited, who made a profit of £25,292.' in 1913, reports that the results for 1918 -are £56,501, but that is allowing for excess profits duty. Messrs J. F. and H. Roberts, Limited, manufacturers and merchants, of Manchester,, have improved even on this, for their net profit in, the five years has more :than quadrupled, the actual figures beinsr £18,331 and £76,690. The latter amount is also after making provision for the Exchequer's 80 per cent, of the increase. Messrs John Howell and C 0.,. Limited. St. Paul's Churchyard, show a nine-fold advance —from £10,580 to £96.176. Another Churchyard firm, Messrs Stafford Northcote and Co., Limited, after allowing over £6000 for depreciation, etc., shows a profit of £12.852 last year, against only £IM)3 in 1913, or nearly 12 times as much. The most surprising result, however, is that of Messrs Alliston and Co., Limited, Friday Street, E.C., who have converted a loss of £6406 five years ago into a profit of £48,675 last year.
lit spite of these figures, however, it is not likely that drapery prices will fall in the near future. As was stated in "The Times " a few weeks ago, there are inaiiv factors which are likely rather to affect prices in the other direction. Amonir them are the demands for better waccs and the smallness of. the stocks of raw material. In regard to wool, for example, the dearth is world-wide, and no improvement can be expected before May at the earliest.
Cloth for women's standard skirts, coat-frocks, and costumes is now being delivered to the skirt and costume manufacturers, and the garments should he on the market before Easter. The cloth for dress skirts is in black, navy, saxc, nigger, mole, and fawn. There aro two qualities, the retail price of one being 15s lid. and of the other 25s 9d. Costumes and coat-frocks will be made in similar colours, the price to the public of costumes being 75s 9d, and of coat-frocks 65s 9d, There are six sizes in each case, and the design will bo left to the manufacturers. ,
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9594, 25 April 1919
DRAPERY PROFITS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9594, 25 April 1919
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