Knowing your audience has always been a part of marketing. The businesses of Jamestown back in 1925 were no exception. They set out that spring to hold a â€œSales Dayâ€ that drew customers from all segments of the area population.
And there were some good bargains to be had.
White Clothing Company was offering silk shirts for $3.85 and menâ€™s suits for $9.95 so dressing in style came to less than $14.
And to dress from the inside out you could get a union suit for 69 cents.
Iâ€™ve never bought a silk shirt and itâ€™s been quite a few years since I bought a suit but I know the prices have gone up a bit for those items.
Starched collars were still sold separate from the clothes back in 1925. They sold for a dime each but regularly cost 20 cents. Menâ€™s dress shoes were on sale for $2.95 while work shoes were available for $2.85.
Head gear was included as well. Felt hats, various colors, sold for $5.45 while a straw hat sold for $1.39 and a cloth cap went for 98 cents.
But the bargains were just part of the attraction of Sales Day back in 1925.
White Clothing Company would reimburse the gas for any of the â€œout of town folks,â€ that shopped their store. The allowance was good for one gallon of gas for every 15 miles the person traveled.
And then there were the prizes.
Each purchase entered the customer in a drawing for a bunch of big prizes.
The grand prize was a brand new Ford touring car. The top prize went to any resident of North Dakota, resident of Jamestown or not, who shopped on Sales Day.
The vehicle was valued at about $800 back then. Adjusted for inflation, thatâ€™s more than $10,000 now.
Which, oddly enough, wouldnâ€™t buy you a new touring car today.
First prize for a shopper from Jamestown was $50 in gold. Probably about 3 ounces given the gold prices of 1925. That would be worth over $3,000 today.
There were a couple of prizes for customers from the rural areas. To win these you had to be from outside Jamestown.
Second prize for the farm crowd was a registered heifer. The flyers didnâ€™t identify the breed of the young cow so Iâ€™m guessing the winner could specify what type of cow they wanted to add to their herd.
And the top prize for the farmers attending the June, 1925, Sales Day was a registered bull.
The Jamestown merchants promoted the sales event as the best value in retail goods ever offered in North Dakota.
And that ainâ€™t no bull.