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Full text of "Census of business: 1935. Voluntary group and cooperative wholesalers, groceries and related products"



1 





Given By 
f S. SUFI. OF DOCWvlEin'S 



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CMSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 

VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE 'iVHOLESALERS 
GROCERIES Ai:]D RELATED PRODUCTS 



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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 
Daniel C. Roper, Secretary 

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS 
William Lane Austin, Director 



CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 
GROCERIES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 




H 



41 



UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 
Daniel C. Roper. Secretar y 



jj^^ BUREAU OF THE CENSUS 

y. ill Jam Lane Austin, Direccor 



CENSUS OF BUSINESS-. 1935 
Fred A. Gosnell. Chief Statistician 
William A. Ruff, Assistant 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 
GROCERIES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 






Prepared by 
John Albright, Chief, Wholesale Distribution 



The Census of Business was made possible through an allocation of 
funds to the Bureau of the Census by the Works Progress Administration. 



644 



(^'b vx . ^ V -2."^ A u ^ 



C N T E N T S 



MAP AND CHARTS 

Page 
Map of the United States — Business of voluntary group and 

cooperative wholesalers, by states 4 

Chart I - Sales of voluntary-group wholesalers by geographic 

divisions 17 

Chart II - Sales of cooperatives by geographic divisions 17 



TEXT 

Introduction 5 

Scope of this study 6 

"Voluntary" and "cooperative" defined 6 

Grocery trade only 7 

Identification of cooperatives and voluntaries 7 

General summary of cooperatives and voluntaries 9 

Cooperatives and voluntaries compared with other grocery whole- 
salers 12 

Geographic distribution of cooperatives and voluntaries 14 

Degree of cooperation 18 

Voluntaries 18 

Cooperatives 19 

Credit sales 19 

Operating expenses ., , .,..,...._, 21 

Frequency distribution of Operaitinig expenses • — '■ cooperatives 21 

Business-size groups ,,,.,..^..,,,.......^....._. 22 

Voluntaries :l::l..: :}.:■..' 22 

Cooperatives y.., -....>>...,..,......,. .-..,,,..._...■....•...;:... .>.._. 23 

Expenses analyzed v;.^^.;..•..C»V*•'^•■■'■^■v^•'£•■■S■■i•'.J.•'. 25 

Voluntaries 25 

Cooperatives 26 

Employment and pay roll 27 

Voluntaries 27 

Cooperatives 28 

Employees by business-size groups — voluntaries 30 

Commodity sales 33 



644 



Si 

4j 



C ONTENTS (Continued) 



• TABLES 

Page 

Table 1. — Summary of establishments, sales, expenses, 

employment, pay roll and stocks 11 

Table 2. — Comparative study of sales, expenses, personnel, 

pay roll and stocks 13 

Table 3. — Geographic distribution of cooperative and 

voluntary-group wholesalers 16 

Table 4. — Voluntary-group wholesalers classified according 

to percentage of 1935 sales to cooperating 

retailers 19 

Table 5. — Credit sales 21 

Table 6. — Frequency distribution of operating expense ratios - 

Retailer-cooperative warehouses 22 

Table 7. — Sales, expenses, personnel, pay roll, and stocks 

by business-size groups 24 

Table 8. — Analysis of operating expenses by business-size 

groups - Voluntary-group wholesalers 26 

Table 9. — Employment and pay roll for week ending October 26, ■ 

1935, by occupational groups 29 

Table 10. — Full-time employees and their pay roll by 

occupational classes and size of establishment 31 

Table 11. — Commodity sales 35 



644 



, Ut bO^>'' 



U. S. SUPF-W<^TEM*^"' 



tWii 



H 




VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 
GROCERIES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 

By John Albright, Chief, Wholesale Distribution 



INTRODUCTION 



This IS one of a series of special reports on Wholesale Distri- 
bution, a part of the Census of Business, 1935. The statistics were 
collected in 1936 by a field canvass of wholesale establishments in every 
state, city and county in the United States. They cover the operations 
of wholesalers during the year 1935. 

The field canvass was based upon wholesale establishments which 
are defined, for census purposes, as recognizable places of business 
where goods are sold in a wholesale manner. Selling in a wholesale manner 
or on a wholesale basis is selling primarily to retailers, institutions 
buying in quantities, industrial users and to other wholesale organizations 
for resale or further processing or business use, rather than for personal 
or household consumption. No establishments are included in the Wholesale 
Census unless 50 percent or more of their sales are made at wholesale . 
The census was taken on an establishment basis in order to facilitate the 
canvass and to make it possible to present the data by geographic areas. 
A separate report was secured for each place of business, regardless 
of whether or not it was owned or operated as a part of a larger business 
organization. 



6. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 

SCOPE OF THIS STUDY 

Many independent traders, particularly in the grocery and drug 
trades, in order to obtain some of the advantages of centralized ownership 
or control, have in recent years, organized cooperatively into voluntary 
groups. Some of the major objectives of such cooperation have been to pool 
buying power, advertise collectively, and to obtain other benefits of group 
merchandising. In the 1935 Census of Business the Bureau attempted, for the 
first time, to measure by means of a field canvass the extent of this evolu- 
ion in wholesaling. Specifically, each wholesaler was asked, "Is this es- 
ablishment operated by, operating, or sponsoring a cooperative or voluntary 
group of retailers?" Where the answer was in the affirmative, the name of 
the group, the date that the particular establishment became a member and the 
percentage of the 1935 sales to retail members of the group were called for, 
in addition to the regular Census of Business inquiries. 
"Voluntary" and "Cooperative" Defined . 

In order to provide a better understanding, of group merchandising 
of this type, census enumerators were instructed to distinguish between the 
wholesaler-sponsored group and the retailer-owned or operated warehouse — 
informal buying groups without recognizable places of business were not in- 
cluded in the canvass. The wholesaler-sponsored or affiliated .group was 
described, for enumeration purposes, as one in which the wholesaler took 
the initiative in seeking to bring about a more effective combination of 
wholesale and retail functions through merchandising affiliations with a 
selected group of retailers, while a retailer-owned or operated warehouse 
was described as an establishment functioning as an incorporated wholesale 
company selling only to members, or as a regular wholesale business, the 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 7-, 

ownership and control of which was entirely or largely in the hands of the 
retailers. The wholesaler-sponsored type where the control rested largely 
with the wholesaler is hereinafter referred to as a "voluntary-group whole- 
saler" or as a "voluntary", while the retailer-owned wholesaler, where the 
policy is determined by the retail members, is called a "retailer- 
cooperative warehouse" or merely "cooperative". 

Cooperatives without warehousing facilities and voluntaries which 
did not report a common name by which retail members were identified are 
omitted from this study. 

G rocery Tr ade Only 

An examination of the replies to the inquiries outlined above 
revealed that there was considerable confusion in some trades as to what 
constituted a voluntary or cooperative group. In the petroleum trade, for 
example, a number of operators of commission bulk tank stations, stations 
owned by major oil companies but operated by lessees on a commission basis 
selling to exclusive dealers, considered theirs as a voluntary business. 
Likewise, many distributors operating under an exclusive agency or other _ 
contractual basis insisted that they sponsored voluntary groups. Due to the 
irregularities of reporting in some kinds of business and to the small number 
of such operators in other trades, this study is limited to cooperative and . _. 
voluntary wholesalers in the grocery trade, the trade where their operations 
are fairly well defined. 

Identific at ion of Cooperat iv es and Voluntaries 

The data given in this report for voluntaries and cooperatives do 
not agree with those shown in the general reports on Wholesale Distribution 
lor the year 1935. For the purposes of this report all schedules showing any 
644 



8. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 

evidence of group affiliation were reexamined carefully and where doubt 
existed as to the character of their operations, correspondence was 
initiated with the respondent. Also, concerns wnich failed to indicate 
group affiliation on their reports, but which were listed as voluntaries 
or cooperatives by agencies familiar with this type of merchandising, were- 
ontacted for further information. As a result of the additional facts 
developed from this correspondence, a number of establishments have been 
included in this report which were classified as other than voluntaries 
or cooperatives in Wholesale Distribution, 1935, Volumes I to VIII, • - ■ - - - 
inclusive. 

While the characteristics of a typical cooperative or voluntary 
group are objective and easily ascertainable, many groups do not conform ■-'-•'>- : 
closely to the usual conception. Methods of operation differ materially i-i-,-^^ 
and the degree of cooperation ranges from mere group name to 100 percent _ - 
group merchandising. The brief amount of information solicited on the 
Census report and in the follow-up correspondence made it difficult to _ 
classify properly some establishments, particularly the border line cases. 
Lack of uniformity in the use of terms also added to the problems of proper- 
ly identifying reports to be included and those to be excluded from this - 
study. Due to the rigid selection to which the schedules were subjected 
and to the fact that some wholesalers may have misinterpreted the 
questions, it is quite possible that some reports may have been erroneously 
rejected through lack of proper information. It is felt, however, that the 
figures contained herein are reasonably complete for the year 1935. 
644 ... . , 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 9. 

GENERAL SUMMARY 

There were 157 cooperative warehouses and 584 voluntary-group 
wholesale establishments in the grocery trade at the close of 1935. This 
count of establishments does not include buying groups or other such 
operators without recognizable places of business but, for wholesale chain 
organizations sponsoring voluntary groups, each branch or establishment engaged 
in group merchandising is counted separately. 

3/4 Billion Dollar Business . 

Net sales of the 157 cooperatives amounted to $144,054,000 for 
the year 1935, while the 584 sponsoring establishments reported sales of 
$578,019,000. Thus, the combined total business for both types amounted to 
$722,073,000. The term, "net sales", as used by the census, represents, 
gross sales less returns and allowances. It includes sales taxes, if any, 
and receipts obtained from services and other sources in the normal oper- 
ation of the business. 

Operating expenses of the cooperatives for the year 1935 amounted 
to $7,475,000 or 5.2 percent of sales. Of this total, $4,239,000 or 57 
percent was in the form of pay roll. Sponsoring establishments incurred 
expenses of $58,357,000 or 10.1 percent of sales; $35,775,000 or 61 per- 
cent of which was in the form of pay roll. Pay roll for cooperatives 
equalled 2.9 percent of sales as compared with 6.2 percent for sponsoring 
wholesalers. 

The cooperatives engaged 2,821 paid employees, while the 
personnel of the voluntaries consisted of 21,584 paid employees (monthly) 



10. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 



average) and 144 active proprietors and firm members of unincorporated 
business for whom no compensation is included in pay roll. Average 
annual sales per employee for cooperatives amounted to $51,065 as compared 
with $26,656 per person engaged by sponsoring wholesalers. Merchandise 
on hand for resale, cost value, at the -end of 1935 amounted to $14,176,000 
or 9.8 percent of sales for cooperatives as compared with $76,962,000 or 

13.3 percent of sales for voluntaries. ... _ 

From the summary comparison, it is apparent that operating costs 

per dollar sales are much higher for voluntary group than for retailer- 
owned wholesalers. As is shown later in this report, the higher costs for 
voluntaries resulted primarily from added services rendered by them. They, 
as a rule, have a more liberal credit policy than cooperatives both in 
terms of amount of credit and from the standpoint of length of credit 
period. More of them provide delivery services for their retail members. 
They carry larger stocks including a variety of items, some. of which are 
slow moving. Also, voluntaries employ a larger personnel for an equal 
volume of sales and rely more en the services of salesmen, usually high 
salaried employees; hence, they have a higher ratio of pay roll to sales. 

Although the higher expenses for voluntaries reflect added 
services rendered, they also result in part from bookkeeping methods. It 
was found that many voluntaries treat, for accounting purposes, advertising 
and sales promotion expenses as a part of their costs even though advertising 
allowances by. manufacturers .aad contributions by retail .members are often 
made for these aids. . : . , 

644 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 



11, 



TABLE 1.— SUMMARY OF ESTABLISHMENTS, SALES, EXPENSES, 
EMPLOYMENT, PAY ROLL AND STOCKS 



Retailer- 
cooperative 
warehouses 



Voluntary- 
group 
wholesalers 



Number of establishments 

Net sales 

Operating expenses (including pay roll) 1/ 
Amount 
Percent to sales 

Number of active proprietors and firm members 

Employees (full-time and part-time) Average for year 

Pay roll 

Amount 

Percent to sales 

Stocks on hand, end of year 
Amount 
Percent to sales 2/ 



157 584 

1144,054,000 $578,019,000 



$7,475,000 $58,357,000 
5.2 10.1 






144 


2,821 


21,684 


$4,239,000 


$35,775,000 


2.9 


6.2 


114,176,000 


$76,962,000 


9.8 


13.3 



1/ The term operating expenses is used in this report to cover total pay roll 
and all other costs, including book charges, incurred in the operation of the 
business, such as administrative, selling, delivery, warehouse, occupancy 
(rent; maintenance labor; heat, light, power and water; building repairs and 
supplies; insurance, taxes and depreciation on building; etc.) and "other" 
expenses. The amount does not include charges to capital accounts, cost of 
goods sold, income taxes, nor any allowance for net profit. In the case of 
unincorporated businesses, no compensation is included for the services of 
proprietors and firm members. 

2/ Throughout the study this percentage is obtained by dividing the value of 
stocks on hand, at cost, at the end cf the year by net sales for the year. 
It should not be considered as a stock-turn figure as one amount is on a cost 
basis while the other is in terms of selling value. 



644 



12. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 



COMPARED WITH OTHER WHOLESALERS 



Cooperative and voluntary groups together accounted for approximate- 
ly three-eighths (37%) of the business of all full-line grocery merchant whole- 
salers, of which they are a part, for the country as a whole in 1935. Total 
net sales of full-service and limited-function wholesalers handling a full 
line of groceries amounted to $1,953,762,000. Of this amount, wholesale mer- 
chants not sponsoring voluntary groups accounted for 60.2 percent, voluntary- 
group wholesalers 29.6 percent, cooperatives (see footnote to Table 2) 7.4 
percent, cash-and-carry wholesalers 2.6 percent, leaving 0.2 percent for other 
types. - 

One of the most significant studies is the comparison of operating 
costs for the various types of merchants. Expressed as a percent to net sales, 
operating expenses were highest for sponsoring wholesalers (10.1) followed by 
non-sponsoring wholesale merchants (8.9) . Cooperatives for the country as a 
whole show slightly higher costs (5.2) than do cash-and-carry depots 
(4.9). It is significant to note (Table 2) that both pay roll and stock 
ratios (stocks on hand expressed as a percent to net sales) are, for the var- 
ious types, consistent with the total expense ratios of which they constitute 
important elements. 

Possible explanations of the higher expense? for voluntaries as com- 
pared with non-sponsoring wholesalers may be found in emphasis upon private 
brands and in the group merchandising costs included in the reported expenses 
of the sponsors. Group advertising and special services costs are sometimes 
treated by the sponsors as part of their costs although funds may be collected 
from retail members to maintain the group activities. Also, the voluntaries 
are on the average much larger than the merchants not sponsoring groups, 
$990,000 annual sales as compared with $440,000. A study of grocery wholesalers 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 



13. 



TABLE 2. —COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SALES, EXPENSES, PERSONNEL, 

PAY ROLL AND STOCKS 

FULL-SERVICE AND LIMITED-FUNCTION WHOLESALERS OF FULL-LINE GROCERIES 

(Table is in two parts - see below) 



Type of operation 



Net 
sales^ 



Number 

of 

estab- Percent 

lish- Amount of 
ments (add 000) total 



Operating Stocks 



expenses 
percent 

to 
sales 



on hand 
percent 

to 
sales 



Total 



3,833 $1,953,762 100.0 



8.9 



Wholesale merchants 2,676 

Voluntary-group wholesalers 584 
Cash-and-carry depots 378 

Retailer-cooperative warehouses* 157 
Other types 38 



1,175,839 


60.2 


578,019 


29.6 


50,605 


2.6 


144,054 


7.4 


5,245 


0.2 


(Continued) 





8.9 
10.1 
4.9 
5.2 
5.3 



12.3 



12.3 

13.3 

9.6 

9.8 
7.7 



TABLE 2 



Type of operation 



Active Employees 
proprie- (full-time 
tors and and part - 
firm time) Avg. 
members for year 



Pay roll (add 000) 



Total % to Full- Part- 
amount sales time time 



Total 

Wholesale merchants 
Voluntary-group wholesalers 
Cash-and-carry depots 
Retailer-cooperative warehouse* 
Other types 



1,443 67,563 $98,077 5.0 $97,352 $725 



1,234 


41 , 943 


56,581 


4.8 


56.013 


563 


144 


21,584 


35,775 


6.2 


35,664 


111 


46 


1,007 


1,327 


2.6 


1,313 


9 




2,821 


4,239 


2.9 


4,199 


40 


19 


103 


155 


3.0 


153 


2 



For comparison purposes all retailer cooperatives are included in this tabu- 
lation, although some of them are more properly classified as short-line 
houses . 



14. .h CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 

by size (see Wholesale Distribution, 1935, Volume VI, Page 10) shows that 
the lowest cost ratio is found in the $200,000 to $299,999 bracket and that, 
for the larger establishments, expenses tend to increase with size. In this 
connection it should not be assumed that higher expenses are necessarily 
associated with increased group merchandising for, according to Table 4, 
costs tend to decrease as the degree of sponsorship increases. 

The slightly higher expenses as shown for cooperatives as compared 
with cash-and-carry wholesalers may be due to more services rendered by many 
of the former. Cooperatives as a whole have a higher stock ratio, higher 
pay roll in terms of sales and higher annual average salary per employee, 
$1,503 as compared with $1,318. As will be shown later, many of them grants- 
credit and perform other services common to full-service wholesalers. 

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION 
/That the group merchandising movement has made most headway in the 
New England, Middle Atlantic and Pacific Coast States is clearly shown in 
the map on Page 4 and in Table 3. In the Middle Atlantic Division, consist- 
ing of the States of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, establishments 
identified with such groups accounted for 64.1 percent of all sales of full- 
service and limited- function wholesalers handling a full-line of groceries, 
while similar establishments in the Pacific Division accounted for 59.3 per- 
cent of the total and in the New England Division 55.4 percent. 

The significance of the growth of the movement geographically is 
further emphasized by the fact that no state south of a line coinciding 
644 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 15. 

with the Virginia — North Carolina boundary westward to include the Utah — 
Arizona boundary shows as much as 15 percent group merchandising, while every 
state north of the line, except Kentucky and Nevada, shows more than 15 
percent. The northern states with the larger population centers show the 
highest ratios. 

Cooperatives are most numerous in the Middle Atlantic, East North 
Central and New England Divisions in the order named (see Table 3), while 
for voluntary groups, the order in 1935 was East North Central, Middle 
Atlantic, New England and West North Central. The relative importance of 
each type of group, from the standpoint of sales, is sho^n graphically in 
Charts I and II. 

A more detailed study than is shown in the tables reveals that 
from the standpoint of total net sales, California was the leading state for 
cooperatives, followed by Pennsylvania as a close second. For voluntaries. 
New York was first, followed in order by Pennsylvania, Illinois, California . 
and Ohio. 

The group merchandise movement shows large gains in the big cities 
of the country. Cooperatives and sponsoring wholesalers together accounted 
for 52 percent of the sales of all the merchant wholesaler full-line grocery 
business in the 13 cities of more »nan 500,000 population (1930), as against 
only 32.7 percent for the remainder of the country. Voluntaries did 39.9 
percent of the total in the largest cities but only 26.7 percent outside, 
while cooperatives did 12.1 percent of the business in the larger cities but 
only 6 percent for the remainder of the country 



16. 



CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 



TABLE 3.— GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF COOPERATIVE 
AND VOLUNTARY-GROUP WHOLESALERS 



Cooperat 


ives and voluntaries 
(combined) 


Retail-coop, 
warehouses 


Voluntary-group 
wholesalers 


Geographic Nui 


nber 

tab- 

3h- 

its 


Net 


sales 


Number 

of Net 

estab- sales 

lish- 

ments (add 000) 


Number 

of 

es.tab- 

lish- 

ments 




division of 
es 
li; 

mei 


% of total* 
Amount for all 
wholesale 
(add 000) merchants 


Net 
sales 

(add 000) 


United States Total 


741 


$722,073 


37.0 


157 


$144,054 


584 


$578,019 


New England 


97 


52,796 


55.4 


20 


8,115 


77 


44,681 


Middle Atlantic 


169 


216,453 


64.1 


50 


41,365 


119 


175,088 


East North Central 


151 


155,675 


43.2 


26 


20,079 


125 


135,596 


West North Central 


91 


84,520 


34.3 


15 


19,500 


76 


65,020 


South Atlantic 


52 


41,522 


17.8 


14 


12,445 


38 


29,077 


East South Central 


25 


12,483 


7.8 


6 


1,725 


19 


10,758 


West South Central 


55 


25 , 528 


9.7 


4 


1,296 


51 


24,232 


Mountain 


31 


26,830 


33.4 


4 


1,578 


27 


25,252 


Pacific 


70 


106,266 


59.8 


18 


37,951 


52 


68,315 



* Sales of cooperative and voluntary-group wholesalers combined expressed as a 
percent of sales of all full-service and limited-function wholesalers 
handling a full line of groceries. 



644 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 15. 

with the Virginia— North Carolina boundary westward to include the Utah- 
Arizona boundary shows as much as 15 percent group merchandising, while every 
state north of the line, except Kentucky and Nevada, shows more than 15 
percent. The northern states with the larger population centers show the 
highest ratios. 

Cooperatives are most numerous in the Middle Atlantic, East North 
Central and New England Divisions in the order named (see Table 3), while 
for voluntary groups, the order in 1935 was East North Central, Middle 
Atlantic, New England and West North Central. The relative importance of 
each type of group, from the standpoint of sales, is shown graphically in 
Charts I and II. 

A more detailed study than is shown in the tables reveals that 
from the standpoint of total net sales, California was the leading state for 
cooperatives, followed by Pennsylvania as a close second. For voluntaries. 
New York was first, followed in order by Pennsylvania, Illinois, California 
and Ohio. 

The group merchandise movement shows large gains in the big cities 
of the country. Cooperatives and sponsoring wholesalers together accounted 
for 52 percent of the sales of all the merchant wholesaler full-line grocery 
business in the 13 cities of more -nan 500,000 population (1930), as against 
only 32.7 percent for the remainder of the country. Voluntaries did 39.9 
percent of the total in the largest cities but only 26.7 percent outside, 
while cooperatives did 12.1 percent of the business in the larger cities but 
only 6 percent for the remainder of the country 



16. 



CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 



TABLE 3. —GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF COOPERATIVE 
AND VOLUNTARY-GROUP WHOLESALERS 



Cooperat 


ives and vo; 
(combined) 


Luntaries 


Retail-coop, 
warehouses 
Number 
of Net 
estab- sales 
lish- 
ments (add 000) 


Voluntary-group 
wholesalers 


Geographic Number 
division of 

estab- 
lish- 
ments 


Net sales 
% of total* 
Amount for all 
wholesale 
(add 000) merchants 


Number 
of 

estab- 
lish- 
ments 


Net 
sales 

(add 000) 


United States Total 


741 


$722,073 


37.0 


157 


1144,054 


584 


$578,-019 


New England 


97 


52,796 


55.4 


20 


8,115 


77 


44,681 


Middle Atlantic 


169 


216,453 


64.1 


50 


41,365 


119 


175,088 


East North Central 


151 


155,675 


43.2 


26 


20,079 


125 


135,596 


West North Central 


91 


84,520 


34.3 


15 


19,500 


76 


65,020 


South Atlantic 


52 


41,522 


17.8 


14 


12.445 


38 


29,077 


East South Central 


25 


12,483 


7.8 


6 


1,725 


19 


10,758 


West South Central 


55 


25,528 


9.7 


4 


1,296 


51 


24,232 


Mountain 


31 


26,830 


33.4 


4 


1,578 


27 


25,252 


Pacific 


70 


106,266 


59.8 


18 


37,951 


52 ■ 


68,315 



* Sales of cooperative and voluntary-group wholesalers combined expressed as a 
percent of sales of all full-service and limited-function wholesalers 
handling a full line of groceries. 



644 



WHOLESALE DISTRIBITION: 1935 

(HART 1. VOLl NTARY-CiROlP WHOLESALERS IJY GEOGRAPHIC DIMSIONS 
NET SALES, PERCENT OF TOTAL FOR ALL FULL LINE GROCERY MERCHANTS 

GEOGRAPHIC DIVISIONS 

U. 8. TOTAL 

MIDDLE ATLANTIC 

NEW ENGLAND 

PACIFIC 

EAST NORTH CENTRAL 

MOUNTAIN 

WEST NORTH CENTRAL 

SOUTH ATLANTIC 

WEST SOUTH CENTRAL 

EAST SOUTH CENTRAL 

CHART 2. RETAILER COOPERATIYE WAREHOl SES HY GEOGRAPHIC DIYISIONS 
NET SALES. PERCENT OF TOTAL FOR ALL Fl LL LINE GROCERY MERCHANTS 




U. S. TOTAL 

PACIFIC 

MIDDLE ATLANTIC 

NEW ENGLAND 

WEST NORTH CENTRAL 

EAST NORTH CENTRAL 

SOUTH ATLANTIC 

MOUNTAIN 

EAST SOUTH CENTRAL 

WEST SOUTH CENTRAL 




1 21.4 



BUREAU OF THE CENSUS 



18. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 

DEGREE OF COOPERATION 
V oluntaries . 

The degree to which voluntary-group wholesalers sold to cooperating 
retailers is shown in Table 4. Only 30 of the 584 establishments reported 
that 90 percent or more of their 1935 sales were to members, while a total 
of 207 stated that 50 percent or more of their business was of this nature. 
It is significant to note that 340 establishments with net sales of 
$349,882,000 definitely indicated that less than one-half of their business 
was with cooperating retailers. Information on degree of cooperation could 
not be furnished by 37 houses but for the remaining 547, group merchandising 
accounted for 38.7 percent of total sales. Assuming that this ratio held 
true for all voluntaries, the total was approximately $223,693,000 for the 
year 1935. 
E xpenses Decrease With Increased Group Merchandising . 

In general, operating expenses decreased with an increase in group 
merchandising. The lowest expense ratio is found for those with 90 percent or 
more cooperation (8.3%), from which it increased consistently (see Table 4) 
to 11.5 percent for the 157 establishments with 10 to 30 percent of their 
sales to members. The ratio dropped slightly to 11.3 percent for those with 
less than 10 percent group merchandising. 

The number of outside salesmen per $1,000,000 in sales shows a 
consistent decrease as the group merchandising ratio increased. Voluntaries 
selling less than ten percent to members employed an average of slightly less 
than 11 salesmen for each million dollars of sales as compared with four per 
million for establishments on a 90 percent or more group merchandising basis. 
The number of inside salesmen per million dollars of sales, on the other hand, 
tended to increase as the portion of the business with group members rose. 



30 


31,837 


29,793 


2,629 


8.3 


1.7 


3.9 


61 


57,990 


44,41.2 


5,370 


9.3 


0.9 


6.5 


lis 


81,231 


44,992 


7,643 


9.4 


0.9 


7.3 


157 


139,441 


51,220 


13,795 


9.9 


1.1 


7.8 


157 


154,331 


28,809 


17,743 


11.5 


1.0 


10.0 


26 


56,060 


2,332 


6,322 


11.3 


0.4 


10.7 


37 


57,079 


_ — 


4,850 


8.5 


1.2 


7.3 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 19. 



TABLE 4.— VOLUNTARY -GROUP WHOLESALERS CLASSIFIED ACCORDING 
TO PERCENTAGE OF 1935 SALES TO COOPERATING RETAILERS 



Number Net Salesmen per 

■ of sales Operating 1^1,000,000 

Percentage of sales to estab Total Amount to eypen;e 3 of sal es- 

cooperating retailers lish- amount members Amount % to In Out - 

ments (add 000) (add 000) (aW 000) sales side side 

Total 584 $578,019 $ ■■- ^53,3j7 13.1 1.0 8.2 

Total reporting percentage 547 520, 940 201,5 91 53,^507 1 0.5 1^ 8_3 

90 percent or more 
70 to 90 percent 
50 to 70 percent 
■ 30 to 50 percent 
10 to 30 percent 
Less than 10 percent 

Not reporting percentage 



Cooperatives 
A study of the individual reports of cooperatives revealed that 
slightly more than nine-tenths (91.1%) of all sales were to retail members. 
Of the 157 establishments, 89 reported that all of their sales were to mem ■ 
bars, 27 stated that 90 to 99 percent of their business was of this nature, 
while only 35 indicated that more than 10 percent of their business was with 
non-members. Six houses failed to report on the inquiry. 

CREDIT SAL ES 
Cooperatives and voluntaries are analyzed in Table 5 according to 
the percentage of their sales ,vhich .vcre maie on a credit basis including op3.i 
account, commercial paper, installment, or other than strictly cash or c.o.d. 
basis. In considering the relation bet./een costs and credit business it should 
be remembered that services frequently run together and that it is next to im - 
possible to isolate the influence of any particular one. High percentage of 
644 



20. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 

credit, for example, is commonly associated with a high percentage of delivery 
and vice versa. The reader is cautioned that the control in Table 5 is on the 
basis of credit business and that the apparent effect of changes in credit 
ratio upon costs may be due in part to the accompanying services or the lack 
thereof. 

Expenses for cooperatives selling entirely on credit, 24 establish- 
ments with sales of $24,057,000, amounted to 6.6 percent of sales in contrast 
to 4.1 percent for the 31 cooperatives which definitely stated that they did 
not grant credit. Voluntaries selling 100 percent on credit had an expense 
ratio of 11.0 as compared with 8.4 for those which sold less than 50 percent 
(average of 27.4%) on a credit basis. The expense ratio for each type de- 
creased consistently as the percentage of cash business increased. The 6.6 
percent for cooperatives selling 100 percent on credit decreased to 5.5 per- 
cent for those granting credit on 50-99 percent of their business and to 
4.6 for those selling less than 50 percent on such a basis. As stated above, 
the ratio was 4.1 for those selling strictly for cash. Credit information 
was not given for 27 cooperatives. 

For voluntaries, the expense ratio of the 100 percent credit 
houses was 11.0 from which it dropped slightly to 10.8 for those in the 75-99 
percent credit bracket; to 9.2 for those in the 50-74 range; and, as stated 
above, to 8.4 for those selling more than 50 percent for cash. Ninety- 
five voluntaries either failed to state their credit policies or they sold 
entirely for cash. 

In view of the economies to be obtained from a cash business, it 
is significant to note that only 31 of the 130 cooperatives analyzed were on 
a strictly cash basis, while 83 sold less than 50 percent for cash, but 
generally limited credit to a short period, in many cases only seven days. 
This would indicate that retailers are accustomed to buying on credit and 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 21. 

that they fail to take advantage of the premiums offered for cash payment, 
even when purchasing through their own warehouses. 

TABLE 5.— CREDIT SALES* 



Number 








of 




Total 


Credit 


es tab- 


Net 


expenses 


sales 



24 


24,057 


1,578 


6.6 


24,057 


100.0 


59 


58,053 


3,164 


5.5 


51,044 


87.9 


16 


9,474 


435 


4.6 


1,900 


20.1 


31 


41,925 


1,725 


4.1 







27 


10,554 


573 


5.4 







Type 

Credit business lish- sales Amount Percent Amount Percent of 

ments (add 000) (add 000) to sales (add 000) net sales 

Retailer-cooperative 

warehouses 157 $144,063 $7,475 5.2 

All sales on credit 
50-99 percent credit 
1-49 percent credit 
No credit business 
Credit policy not stated 27 

Voluntary-group 

wholesalers 584 578,019 58,357 10.1 

All sales on credit 46 41,596 4,560 11.0 41,596 100.0 

75-99 percent credit 304 343,000 37,212 10.8 314,690 91.7 

50-74 percent credit 64 49,404 4,558 9.2 32,447 65.7 

1-49 percent credit 75 65,278 5,515 8.4 17,891 27.4 

Credit policy not stated 95 78,741 6,512 8.3 

* The control in this table is on the basis of percent credit only (see text) . 

OPERATING EXPENSES 

Frequency Distribution — Cooperatives 
Cooperatives show a wide variation in their expense (including pay 
roll) as portrayed in Table 6. Here, the 157 establishments are classified 
according to expenses as a percent to sales into: under 2 percent, 2-3, 3-4, 
etc. It is interesting to note that costs ranged from under 2 percent for 6 
establishments to 10 percent or over for a similar number of warehouses. The 
largest volume of sales is found in the group from 3 to 4 percent with 
$33,368,000 or 23.2 percent of the total, while the largest number of establish- 
ments (32) is found in the 5 to 6 group. 



22. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935. .." 

These ratios suggest that, by rendering a minimum of services, 
cooperative warehouses can be operated at extremely low costs but that, when 
numerous functions such as granting credit and delivering are added, total 
expenses of the few houses approximate those of service wholesalers. By the 
use of Table 6, it is possible to compute average expenses that are not 
unduly influenced by the extremely high or the extremely low cost establish- 
ments. The table also permits the spotting of the more nearly typical expense 
figure. 

TABLE 6.— FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF OPERATING EXPENSE RATIOS 
RETAILER-COOPERATIVE WAREHOUSES 





Number of 
establish- 
ments 


Net 


sa 


les 


Expenses (including pay roll) 
percent to sales 


Amount 
(add 000) 




Percent 
of total 


Total 


157 


$144,063 




100.0 



Under 2 

2-2.9 

3-3.9 

4-4.9 

5-5.9 

6-6.9 

7-7.9 

8-8.9 

9-9.9 

10 and over 



6 


3,198 


2.2 


17 


16,004 - 


11.1 


28 


33,368 


23.2 


23 


23,563 


16.4 


32 


27,923 


19.4 


18 


21,667 


15.0 


15 


5,110 


3.5 


7 


6,788 


4.7 


5 


3,334 


2.3 


6 


3,108 


2.2 



Business-Size Groups . 

Operating expenses for the larger voluntaries, those with annual 
sales of $2,000,000 or more each, were substantially higher than for similar 
establishments with sales of from $200,000 to J499,999 (see Table 7). Houses 
with the lowest expense ratio are found in the 5;.200,000 to $299,999 group 
at 8.7 and, except for the $1,000,000 to 1,999,999 bracket, there was a 
644 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 23. 

consistent increase for the upper brackets. Stated differently, whereas 
it cost a $5,000,000 house $12.30 to market a representative bill of goods 
amounting to $100, a similar bill could be marketed by an establishment in 
the size group $200,000 to $299,999 for $8.70, on the average. For estab- 
lishments with sales of $300,000 to $499,999, the rate was $9.50, and for 
$500,000 to $999,999 houses, it was $9.70. 

The increase in the larger brackets is attributable in a large 
measure to increases in pay roll per dollar of sales. The pay roll ratio 
parallels very closely the total expense ratio, of which it is the major 
factor, the lowest being in the $200,000 to $299,999 bracket, and the 
highest for the $2,000,000 and over houses. As will be shown in a later 
table, the higher pay roll ratio resulted in part from higher wage rates 
rather than less sales per employee. 

Stocks on hand expressed as a percent to net sales, in contrast 
to pay roll ratio, is higher for the smaller establishments and decreases 
irregularly to a low of 11.1 percent for the extremely large houses. These 
figures indicate that pay roll is much more important in the control of 
operating expenses than is inventory. 

Cooperatives . 

Unlike voluntaries, the cooperatives show little variation in 
expenses by size, with a tendency toward lower costs in the larger brackets. 
The highest ratio for this type is found in the $200,000 to 5'499,999 size 
group at 5.4, from which it recedes slightly but consistently with increase 
in size to 5.1 for the over $2,000,000 size group. Pay roll does not loom 
quite so importantly as an element of expense for cooperatives as it does 
for voluntaries. 



24. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 

The modal size, the bracket having the largest number of establish- 
ments, was the $300,000 to $399,999 group for voluntaries, while for coopera- 
tives, it was less than one-half million dollars ($200,000 to $499,999 group) 

TABLE 7.-- -SALES, EXPENSES, PERSONNEL, PAY ROLL AND STOCKS 

BY BUSINESS-SI'^.E GROUPS 















Active 




Pay 










Number 




Ex- 


prop- 


Employees 


roll 


Stocks 








of 


Net 


pen- 


rietors 


(full-time 


per- 


per- 


Business-size 


group 


estab- 


■ sales 


ses 


and 


and part- 


cent 


cent 








lish- 




% to 


firm 


time) .Avg. 


to 


to 








ments 


(add 000) 


sales 


members 


for year 


sales^ 


•■ sales 


Voluntary-group wholesale 


srs584 


S:.578,019 


10.1 


144 


21,726 


6.0 


13.4 


$5,000,000 


and 


[ over 


11 


107,286 


12.3 


4 


4,476 


7.4 


11.1 


$2,000,000 


to 


$4,999,999 


43 


128,413 


10.0 


1 


5,098 


6.3 


13.3 


tl, 000, 000 


to 


$1,999,999 


104 


143,845 


9.2 


33 


4,889 


5.4 


12.9 


$500,000 


to 


$999,999 


176 


122,979 


9.7 


47 


4,502 


5.5 


14.8 


$300,000 


to 


$499,999 


130 


51,400 


9.5 


38 


1,879 


5.3 


14.0 


$200,000 


to 


$299,999 


70 


17,769 


8.7 


11 


604 


4.6 


14.8 


$100,000 


to 


U99,999 


56 


5,564 


10.5 


4 


238 


5.6 


13.5 


Less than $10C 


1,000 


14 


763 


8.8 


6 


40 


5.6 


14. 


Retailer-coope 


srative 
















warehouses 




157 


144,063 


5.2 





2 , 822 


2.9 


9.8 


Over $2,000,000 


17 


72,961 


5.1 





1,317 


2.9 


7.9 


$1,000,000 


to 


$1,999,999 


23 


32 , 649 


5.2 




586 


2.7 


11.6 


$300,000 


to 


$999,999 


27 


18,759 


5.3 





438 


3.2 


12.4 


$200,000 


to 


$499,999 


45 


15,221 


5.4 


, 


341 


2.9 


10.7 



$100,000 to $199,999 24 3,347 5.3 103 3.0 10.2 

Under $100,000 21 1,126 5.0 40 3.1 17.0 

* Includes no compensation for proprietors and firm members of unincorporated 
businesses. 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 25. 

EXPENSES ANALYZED 

Voluntaries . 

To provide a better understanding of operating costs, each establish- 
ment was asked to analyze its expense accounts and to report administrative, 
selling, delivery, occupancy and miscellaneous expenses separately. Such an 
analysis is shown for voluntaries by business-size groups in Table 8. As 91 
houses were unable to supply the desired information from their accounts 
or on the basis of carefully prepared estimates, data are presented for only 
493 establishments. 

The average cost of marketing a representative bill of goods 
amounting to $100, for the 493 establishments as a whole, was $9.90 divided 
as follows: administrative expenses $2.60; selling $2.70; delivery $1.30; 
warehousing $1.50; occupancy $.80; and "other expenses" $1.00. With some 
irregularities, the larger houses had higher selling, delivery, and ware- 
housing costs but lower occupancy (rent; maintenance labor; water, heat, 
light and power; building repairs and supplies, etc.) and "other expenses" 
per dollar of sales. 

Administrative expenses show little variation with size of house, the 
ratio being constant at 2.7 for all groups over $300,000. Selling expenses 
increase in the upper bracket. The fact that they are composed largely of 
salesmen's salaries and expenses and of advertising suggests that emphasis 
upon private brands or wide sales areas are possible explanations of the 
higher costs for the extremely large houses. Delivery expenses also increase 
in the higher brackets probably because the larger houses, located as a rule 
in population centers, make delivery on a larger portion of their sales, and 
because the service is rendered at more frequent intervals. When comparing 
644 



26. CENSUS OF BUSINilSS: 1935 

size groups, it is suggested that warehousing and occu_oancy expenses be com- 
bined. These expenses considered together increase with size which probably 
reflects higher labor and rental costs rather than more warehousing facili- 
ies, for, as shown in Table 7, inventory per dollar of sales decreases in the 
upper brackets. 

TABLF 8.— AIJALYSIS OF OPERATING EXPENSES BY BUSINESS-SIZE GROUPS 

VOLUNTARY-GROUP WHOLESALERS 

Operating expenses (including pay roll) 

Number exp r ess ed is a percent to net s ales 

of Net 
Business-size estab- sales Admin- De- Ware- Occ- 
group lish- (add 000) istra- Sell- liv- hous- upan- 

ments Total tive ing ery ing cy Other 

Total 493 507,610 9.9 2.6 2.7 1.3 1.5 .8 1.0 

$2,000,000 and over 48 203,891 10.7 2.7 3.2 1.4 1.7 .8 .9 

$1,000,000 to $2,000,000 98 136,036 9.2 2.7 2.1 1.2 1.5 .8 .9 

$500,000 to $999,999 151 104,771 9.7 2.7 2.6 1.2 1.2 .9 1.1 

$300,000 to $499,999 119 47,275 ' 9.4 2.7 2.3 1.1 1.2 1.0 1.1 

$200,000 to $299,999 42 10,380 9.3 2.3 2.6 .9 1.1 .9 1.5 

Less than $200,000 35 5,257 9.9 1.8 2.8 1.1 1.4 1.0 1.8 

C ooperatives . 

Of the 157 cooperatives, 121 with sales amounting to $116,604,000 
analyzed their expenses. The total expenses of these 121 establishments 
amounted to $5,257,000 or 5.4 percent of sales; thus their costs were slightly 
higher than average for the 157 houses as shown in Table 2. 

Cooperatives, as explained above, vary materially in the services 
which they render. Some operate very much as full-service wholesalers while 
others merely warehouse a limited number of items which the retailer must call 
for and for which he must pay cash. Those with the least services showed only 
two items of expense — administrative (2.0% of sales) and a combined figure for 
warehouse and occupancy (1.3% of sales). Inasmuch as these two costs must 
644 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 27. 

be incurred by all cooperatives with warehouses, it would appear than 3.5 per- 
cent represents approximately the minimum expense ratio attainable, except ^ 
where drop, shipping is a substantial factor or unless some services are avail- 
able without charge or on a self-sustaining. basis. 

Selling expenses of the houses (79 in all) which performed this 
function in part amounted to 1.0 percent of sales, while delivery expenses 
(82 houses) amounted to 0.8 percent of sales. No information was available ■ 
on the percentage of sales that were delivered. 

EMPLOYME NT AND PAY ROLL 

On the 1935 wholesale questionnaire each establishment was asked to 
analyze its employment and pay roll for a selected week. Provision was 
made for dividing the paid employees into six classes: executives and 
salaried corporation officers, office and clerical employees, inside sales- 
men, outside salesmen (including missionary and good-will representatives),- . 
warehousemen and "other employees". The number and pay roll of each class 
for one week, full-time and part-time employees separately, were called for. - 
The week ending October 26, 1935 was suggested as a representative period 
but, where due to peculiarities of an individual concern's operations, this 
week was not representative, an establishment was requested to choose another 
week in its busy season and to report for such period. 

Voluntaries . 

The 584 voluntaries reported 21,726 full-time and 265 part-time 
employees for the week or a combined total of. 21,991. It is evident from 
these figures that employment for this type of wholesaler is characteris- 
tically full-time, part-time employees representing less than two percent 
of the total. The total of 21,991 for the week is only slightly higher than 
the average of 21,684 for the year, as given in Table 1, thus showing that 
employment is fairly regular throughout the year. 



28. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 

Of the 21,726 full-time employees, 20,631 were classified by oc- 
cupational groups as follo.irs: executives and salaried corporation officers, 
879; office and clerical 5,073; inside selling 643; outside selling 4,434; 
warehousemen 7,481, and "other employees" 2,121. Warehousemen were most 
numerous for both full-time and part-time. Salesmen, full-time and part- 
time, outside and inside combined, numbered 5,144, or 24.6 percent of all 
employees analyzed. 

As was to be expected, the average weekly wage was highest for 
executives and corporation officers (full-time) at $97, follcved by outside 
salesmen at |44, inside salesmen $32, office and clerical $26, warehouse- 
mi.n $22 and "other employees" at $21. The "other" classification is composed 
of two general types; (a) those performing duties which could not be 
classified properly elsewhere (maintenance employees, charwomen, elevator 
operators, truck drivers, etc.), and (b) those performing functions falling 
within two or more of the other classifications, no one of which dominated. 
C ooperatives . 

One feature which distinguishes cooperatives sharply from voluntar- 
ies is the smaller number of salesmen employed by the former. Whereas sales- 
men, outside and inside combined, accounted for 24.6 percent of the total 
classified for voluntaries, they represent less than ten percent for the 
cooperatives. On the other hand, warehousemen accounted for 47.8 percent of 
the total for cooperatives as compared with 35.2 percent for voluntaries. 

That less emphasis is placed by cooperatives upon soliciting and 
selling is further evidenced by the fact that they pay their salesmen, both 
inside and outside, less per week than do the voluntaries. Other classes 
of employees are paid approximately the same by the t.vo types -- the volun- 
taries paying their executives slightly more, while the cooperatives pay 
slightly higher for office and clerical employees and for warehousemen. 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 



29. 



TABLE 9.— EMPLOYMENT AND PAY ROLL FOR WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 26, 1935 

BY OCCUPATIONAL GROUPS 

A - VOLUNTARY-GROUP WHOLESALERS 



Class of employee 



Full-time employees Part-time 
p ay roll for one week employe es 

Average Pay roll 

Number Amount weekly Number for 

wage per one week, 

employee 



Total 



21,726 $575,950 



$31 



265 



$3,327 



Executives and salaried 
corporation officers 

Office and clerical 

Inside selling 

Outside selling 

Warehousemen 

Other employees 

Not classified (52 estab- 



879 


85,099 


97 


11 


256 


5,073 


133,626 


26 


22 


192 


643 


20,770 


32 


14 


118 


4,484 


198,005 


44 


3 


34 


7,481 


163,355 


22 


106 


1,570 


2,121 


44,830 


21 


105 


1,133 



lishments) 




1,045 30,265 


29 


4 


24 




B 


- RETAILER-COOPERATIVES 








Total 




2,807 82,316 


29 


78 


879 



Executives and salaried 
corporation officers 

Office and clerical 

Inside selling 

Outside selling 

Warehousemen 

Other employees 

Not classified 



180 


15,760 


88 


6 


97 


811 


21,947 


27 


17 


150 


103 


2,966 


29 


1 


6 


153 


5,572 


36 


2 


40 


1,310 


30,025 


23 


42 


479 


183 


4,965 


27 


10 


107 


67 


1,081 


16 




. 



644 



30. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 

Employees by Business-Si z e Groups - Voluntaries . 

Detailed information on full-time employment and pay roll of volun- 
tary-group wholesalers is given by business-size groups in Table 10. For each 
class of employee, the number of establishments in each size-group reporting 
such employees is given together with the number of employees and the average 
weekly wage. The average annual sales are also given for each occupational 
group by size of establishment. It should be noted that the average sales 
figures relate only to those establishments reporting such personnel. For ex- 
ample, the $1,783,000 per executive in the $5,000,000 and over group is based 
upon the information furnished by the 9 houses in this size group reporting 
executives. Likewise, the average sales per salesman represents the total 
sales of houses reporting salesmen divided by the number of such employees. 

It is apparent from this table that, as a rule, the larger volun- 
taries pay higher wages on the average and that, with some exceptions, the wage 
rates decrease with size of business. This general rule holds not only for the 
higher paid employees such as corporation officers or outside salesmen but 
also for office personnel and for warehousemen. Higher average wage rates in 
the larger size brackets are a partial explanation of the higher costs for the 
larger establishments. It should not be assumed, however, that size alone is 
responsible for higher wage rates, for the larger establishments are more 
likely to be located in the larger cities where rates are higher in general. 

The average pay for executives and corporation officers, all size- 
groups combined, was $97 per week ranging from a high of $213 for the largest 
size group down to $50 for the one establishment in the under $100,000 group 
which analyzed its employment. Significant economies in employment of 
644 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 



31. 



executives are noted when their number is related to annual sales. Establish- 
ments in the $300,000 to |499,999 class, for example, employed one executive 
for each $198,000 in sales. For the next largest size group, however, tho 
average was $324,000. The $5,000,000 and over class engaged one executive for 
each $1,783,000 in sales. 

The extremely large houses sho,v largest sales per executive and per 
inside salesmen while for other classes of employees, smaller size groups have 
a more favorable average. For office and clerical employees, the highest 
rate is the $1,000,000 to $1,999,999 group at $123,000, which group also has 
the highest rate for outside salesmen at $143,000 and for "other employees" 
at $181,000. Smaller houses show greater productivity per warehouseman. 

TABLE 10.— FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES AND THEIR PAY ROLL 
BY OCCUPATIONAL CLASSES AND SIZE OF 
ESTABLISHMENT 

Voluntary Group Wholesalers Only 

(Figures are for week ending October 26, 1935) 



Class of employee 
Business-size group 



Total analyzed 



Number Average 

Establishments of Average annual sales 

reporting such full-time weekly per full-time 

employees employees wage employee 



532 



20,681 



$31 



$5,000,000 and over 

$2,000,000 to $4,999,999 

$1,000,000 to $1,999,999 

$500,000 to $999,999 

$300,000 to $499,999 

$200,000 to $299,999 

$100,000 to $199,999 

Under $100,000 



11 
43 

97 
158 
125 
49 
35 
14 



4,431 

5,075 

4,542 

4,071 

1,826 

414 

232 

40 



34 
31 
33 
30 
27 
28 
25 
23 



644 



32. 



CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 193; 



TABLE 10. -(CONTINUED) FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES AND THEIR PAY ROLL 
BY OCCUPATIONAL CLASSES AND SIZE OF 
.:.,:.•: :-■•-: ;' - ESTABLISHMENT 

Voluntary Group Wholesalers Only 
(Figures are for week ending October 26, 1935) 







Numbe r 




Average 


Class of employee 


Establishments 


of 


Average 


annual sales 


Business-size group 


reporting such 


full-time 


weekly. 


per full-time 




employees 


employees 


wage 


employee 


Executives and salaried 










corporation of ficsrs ,. total 359 


879 


__I97 


$ 493^000 


$5,000,000 and over 


9 


44 


213 


1,783,000 


$2,000,000 to $4,999,999 


40 


151 


127 


800,000 


$1,000,000 to $1,999,999 


83 


220 


110 


524,000 


$500,000 to $999,999 


109 


240 


78 


324,000 


$300,000 to $499,999 


85 


173 


58 


193,000 


$200,000 to $299,999 


20 


33 


:55 


152,000 


$100,000 to $199,999 


12 


17 


56 


112,000 


Under $100,000 


1 


1 


.50 


50,000 


Office and clerical, total 


492 


5,073 


26 


102,000 


$5,000,000 and over 


11 


1,228 


30 


87,000 


$2,000,000 to $4,999,999 


42 


1,311 


25 


93,000 


$1,000,000 to $1,999,999 


97 


1,083 


27 


123,000 


$500,000 to $999,999 


156 


926 


25 


119,000 


$300,000 to $499,999 


116 


394 


23 


117,000 


$200,000 to $299,999 


40 


83 


22 


122,000 


$100,000 to $199,999 


26 


42 


22 


93,000 


Under $100,000 


4 


6 


23 ^ 


_ 53,000 


Inside salesmen, total 


191 


643 


32 


333,000 


$5,000,000 and over 


4 


22 


43 


1,084,000 


$2,000,000 to $4,999,999 


25 


241 


30 


307,000 


$1,000,000 to $1,999,999 


^ ~46 - 


155 -- - 


3S - 


--420,000— 


$500,000 to $999,999 


49 


92 


28 


334,000 


$300,000 to $499,999 


35 


86 


26 


160,000 


$200,000 to $299,999 


15 


24 


22 


153,000 


$100,0 JO to $199,999 


10 


12 


.23 


123,000.. 


Under $100,000 


6 


11 ■ '_ 


y i" 22 


31,000.. 


Outside salesmen, total 


500 ~ 


4^484 


"'^44 


102,000 


$5,000,000 and over 


11 


1,122 


49 


96,000 


$2,000,000 to $4,999,999 


43 


973 


53 


132,000 


$1,000,000 to $1,999,999 


95 


880 


45 


143,000 


$500,000 to $999,999 


154 


932 


39 


117,000 


$300,000 to $499,999 


115 


338 


34 


117,000 


$200,000 to $399,999 


45 


117 


35 


97,000 


$100,000 to $199,999 


30 


61 


31 


76,000 


Under $100,000 


7 


11 


30 


34,000 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 



33. 



TABLE 10.— (CONTINUED) FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES AND THEIR PAY ROLL 
BY OCCUPATIONAL CLASSES AND SIZE OF 
ESTABLISHMENT 

Voluntary Group Wholesalers Only 

(Figures are for week ending October 25, 1935) 



Class of employee 
Business-size group 



Number Average 

Establishments of Average annual sales 

reporting such full-time weekly per full-time 
employees employees wage employee 



Warehousemen, total 


505 


7,481 


$22 


$72,000 


$5,000,000 and over 


11 


1,836 


24 


58,000 


$2,000,000 to $4,999,999 


41 


1,811 


20 


67,000 


$1,000,000 to $1,999,999 


97 


1,711 


22 


77,000 


$500,000 to $999,999 


153 


1,361 


24 


79,000 


$300,000 to $499,999 


118 


566 


19 


82,000 


$200,000 to $299,999 


46 


115 


19 


101,000 


$100,000 to $199,999 


32 


72 


17 


69,000 


Under $100,000 


7 


9 


18 


45,000 


Other employees, total 


314 


2,121 


21 


133,000 


$5,000,000 and over 


4 


229 


29 


154,000 


$2,000,000 to $4,999,999 


34 


583 


23 


172,000 


$1,000,000 to $1,999,999 


65 


493 


23 


181,000 


$500,000 to $999,999 


94 


520 


19 


128,000 


$300, OOC to $499,999 


73 


219 


19 


134,000 


$200,000 to $299,999 


25 


42 


21 


145,000 


$100,000 to $199,999 


17 


28 


14 


97,000 


Under $100,000 


2 


2 


17 


75,000 




COMMODITY 


SALES 







Each cooperative or voluntary group wholesale establishment was 
asked to analyze its sales by commodities and show such items as sugar, flour, 
coffee, etc., separately. Of the 584 voluntaries, 200 were able to supply 
satisfactory commodity information. Net sales of the 200 establishments 
amounted to $185,738,000 or 32.1 percent of sales for all voluntaries. Cor- 
respondingly, 69 of the 157 cooperatives supplied commodity data. Sales of 
the 69 amounted to $72,843,000 or 50.6 percent of the total for the classi- 
fication. The commodity analysis for each type is presented in Table 11. 
644 



34. CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 

Canned foods consisting of canned fruits, vegetables, meats, milk, 
etc. constituted the most important commodity line for voluntaries, accounting 
for one-third (32.6%) of all sales. Sales of sugar represented 10.1 percent 
of the total followed in turn by flour (5.6%); cigars, cigarettes and tobacco 
(5.2%); coffee (4.9%); soap and toilet preparations (3.5%); and confectionery 
(2.1%). Miscellaneous groceries consisting of cereal preparations, extracts 
and spices, lard substitutes and cooking fats, nuts, oleomargarine and butter 
substitutes, pickles and preserves, rice, tea, etc. accounted for 24.2 percent 
of all sales. Other items each represented less than 2 percent of the total. 
Some establishments either did not handle many of the items listed 
in Table 11 or were unable to segregate the sales thereof. The first percent- 
age column in the table shows the ratio of sales of each commodity to the 
total net sales of only those houses which report its sales. For example, 
only 165 of the 200 voluntaries included in the table reported sales of con- 
fectionery. For these 165 houses, confectionery amounted to 2.5 percent of the 
net sales. Stated differently, not all voluntaries handled confectionery but 
for those which did, this commodity line accounted for 2.5 percent of sales. 
Similarly, not all houses reported tlie sale of flour, but for those that did, 
this item represented 6.2 percent of their total sales. 

Commodity information is presented in part B of the table for co- 
operatives. The range of commodities handled by this class of establishment 
is, if anything, slightly broader than it is for voluntaries as they reported 
sales of 15 non-food items, each amounting to 0.1 percent or more of total 
sales, as compared with 11 for voluntaries. 

The data presented in Table 11 provides wholesale grocery houses with 
suggestions for balancing sales emphasis and for the eliminating of lines. 
By comparing their sales ratios with those given in this table, the various 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 35. 

houses can see how they differ from the group, as a whole, as the table shojrs hOAf 
many of the total number of wholesalers analyzed handle a given line of merchan- 
dise and the importance of each line. 

TABLE 11.— COMMODITY SALES 
A - VOLUNTARY-GROUP WHOLESALERS 



(Only establishments reporting sales by commodities are includsd in this table) 

Commodity 
Establishments 
reporting sale 
Commodity of commodity 



Number 



Net sales 
(add 000) 



Sales 

of 

specified 

commodity 

(add 000) 



sales, 
percent of 

Total 
Net net 
sales sales 



Total 



200 



$185,758 S185.73 8 



100.0 



Bakery products 

Beer and other fermented malt liquors 

Butter and cheese 

Canned foods 

Canned fruits 

Canned vegetables 

Canned fish and sea foods 

Canned meats 

Canned milk 

Other canned foods 

Not itemized 
Coffee 

Green 

Roasted 

Not itemized 
Confectionery 

Candy 

Chewing gum 

Other confectionery 

Not itemized 
Dairy and poultry products, except 

butter and cheese 
Fish and sea foods 
Flour 

Frui t s and vegetables, fresh 
Groceries (except a s lis ted) 

Cereal preparations 

Extracts and spices 

Lard substitutes and cooking fats 

Nuts (all kinds) 

Oleomargarine and other butter 
substitutes 

Pickles, preserves, jellies & sauces 

Rice 



64 


67 . 300 


1.611 


2.3 


.9 


30 


34 . 692 


1,096 


3.2 


.6 


83 


97 . 790 


2,044 


2.1 


1.1 


200 


185,738 


60,611 


32.6 


32.6 



193 


174,773 


13,754 


7.9 


193 


174,773 


22,092 


12.6 


190 


173,520 


7,277 


4.2 


184 


170,141 


3,135 


1.8 


189 


172,280 


6,747 


3.9 


140 


134,939 


4,796 


3.6 


7 


10,965 


2,810 


25.6 


194 


184.229 


9.046 


4.9 4.9 


13 


33,334 


296 


.9 


178 


163 , 370 


7,474 


4.6 


15 


19,537 


1,276 


6.5 


165 


154.884 


3.870 


2.5 2.1 


155 


135,422 


2,500 


1.8 


142 


128,626 


706 


.5 


28 


30,694 


264 


.9 


10 


15,969 


400 


2.5 



24 


26,923 


729 


2.7 


.4 


45 


62,516 


626 


1.0 


.3 


189 


167.277 


10 , 377 


6.2 


5.6 


48 


44 , 836 


3.179 


7.1 


1.7 


200 


185,738 


44,911 


24.2 


24.2 



134 


177,506 


9,002 


5.1 


171 


173,406 


2,459 


1.4 


167 


133,872 


3,366 


2.5 


148 


151,353 


2,457 


1.6 


33 


36,742 


517 


1.4 


183 


169,831 


6,693 


3.9 


180 


160,153 


1.646 


1.0 



36. 



CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 



TABLE 11.— (CONTINUED) COMMODITY SALES 
A - VOLUNTARY GROUP WHOLESALERS 



(Only establishments reporting sales by commodities are inclucieci in this table] 

Commodity 
Establishments Sales sales, 
.- -^ reporting sale of percent of 

Commodity of com m odity specified Tot 1 

. .__ Net sales commodity Net net 

Number (add 000) (add 000) sales sales 



Teas 

Other groceries ~ „„w.-_ 

Not itemized 
M eat and meat products 
S oft drinks 

Sugar ^ /' , . _^,..,.. 

Wines and spiritous l iquors _ _ - 
Other food and related products _ . 

Won-food commodities 
Feed 
Clothing and furnishings, men's 

and boys ' 
Notions 

Drugs and drug sundries 
Soaps and toilet articles and 

and preparations 
House furnishings 
Hardware 
Paper goods 
Stationery and stationery supplies 

Cigars, cigarettes an d tobacco 
Cigars 
Cigarettes 
Tobacco 
Not itemized 



169 

108 

2 

§2. 

76 



5^173,646 

120,784 

270 

54^452. 

90 , 189 



r 6,219 

12,513 

39 

9L4. 

1^172 



3.6 
10.4 
14.4 

-_i_Z_ 
1.3 



_5 
.6 



193 


182^024 


18^687 


10.3 


10.1 


7 


20^886 


2.058 


9.9 


1.1 


15 


25,210 


2.959 


11.7 


1.5 



14 



10,132 



176 



1.7 



.1 



15 


11,828 


8 


8,337 


46 


37 , 194 


116 


111,179 


3 


4,260 


14 


12.004 


76 


56,738 


21 


22,431 


81 


96,671 
C5,612 


85 


70 , 469 


82 


69,001 


35 


22,207 



264 


2.2 


.1 


100 


1.2 


.1 


270 


.7 


.1 


6,613 


5.9 


3.6 


100 


2.3 


.1 


592 


4 9 


.3 


1,317 


2.3 


.7 


172 


.8 


.1 


9 , 592 
718 


__9^9 

1.1 


5.2 


3,975 


5.6 




1,858 


2.7 




3,041 


13.7 





Miscellaneous groups of commodities 



All other commodities 



Receipts from services 



11 



62 



10,478 



71,601 



904 8.6 



1,071 
677 



.9 



.:6 



.4 



VOLUNTARY GROUP AND COOPERATIVE WHOLESALERS 



37. 



TABLE 11.— (CONTINUED) COMMODITY SALES 
B - RETAILER-COOPERATIVE WAREHOUSES 



(Only establish m ents reporting sales by commodities are included in this table) 

Commodity 
Establishments 
Commodity reporting sale 

of commodity 



Number 



Net sales 
(add 000) 



Sales 

of 

specified 

commodity 

(add 000) 



sales, 
percent of 

Total 
Net net 
sales sales 



Total food an d related commodities 

B akery products 

Beer and other fer m ented mat 

l iquors 
Butter and cheese 
C anned foods 

Canned fruits 

Canned vegetables 

Canned fish and sea foods 

Canned meats 

Canned milk 

Other canned foods 

Not itemized 
Coffee 

Green 

Roasted 
Confectionery 

Candy 

Chewing gum 

Other confectionery 

Not itemized 
Dairy and poultry products 

( except b utter and cheese) 
F ish and s ea foods 
F lour 

F ruits and vegetables, fresh 
Groceries ( except a s listed ) 

Cereal preparations 

Extracts and spices 

Lard substitutes and cooking fats 

Nuts (all kinds) 

Butter substitutes 

Pickles, preserves, jellies, jams 
and sauces 

Rice 

Teas 

Other groceries 



69 


S72,843 


$72 , 843 




100.0 


19 


S2,810 


834 


3 7 


1.1 


11 


14,143 


442 


3.1 


.6 


45 


55.615 


2,808 


5.0 


3.8 


69 


72,843 


22,434 


30.8 


30.8 



5 


8,953 


82 


.9 




67 


71 , 478 


3,663 


5.1 




59 


68.015 


1,271 


1.9 


1.7 



66 
65 
60 
6' 
62 
43 

§8, 
5 
67 
59 
54 
44 
16 



18, 
28 
62 
13 
69 
58 
60 
49 
50 
12 



58 
61 
63 
34 



72,523 
72,329 
69,386 
71,785 
70,911 
57,491 

72.479 



66,297 
66,254 
21,447 



33,288 



68 ,.748 
66,367 
57,927 
61,891 
13,525 

65 , 848 
69,587 
71,512 
49,748 



5,612 
6,748 
2,472 
1,442 
3,248 
2,548 
364 
5,745 



906 



3,866 
995 

1,129 
632 
215 

1 , 767 
525 
785 

5.704 



7.7 
9.3 
3.6 
2.0 
4.6 
4.4 

5.2 



746 


1.1 


355 


.5 


128 


.6 


42 





2.7 



5.6 
1.5 
1.9 
1.0 
1.6 

2.7 

.8 

1.1 

11.5 



5.1 



1.2 



28 


31.981 


275 


.9 


.4 


62 


71,307 


3,688 


5.2 


5 1 


13 


17,369 


656 


3.8 


.9 


69 


72,843 


15,618 


21.4 


21 4 



38. 



CENSUS OF BUSINESS: 1935 



TABLE 11.— (CONTINUED) COMMODITY SALES 
B - RETAILER-COOPERATIVE WAREHOUSES 
(Only establishments repor ting sales by commo dities are in':lud3d in this tajole) 



Commodity 



Establishments 
reporting sale 

of commodit y 

Net sales 
Number (add 000) 



Sales 

of 

specified 

commodity 

(add 000) 



Commodity 

sales, 
percent of 

Total 
Net net 
sales sales 



Meat and meat product s 

Soft dri nks 

Sugar 

Wine s and li quors 

Oth er food and rela t ed produc ts 

No n -food commodities 

Feeds 

Grains 

Seeds (field, garden and flower) 

Clothing and furnishings, 
men's and boys' 

Notions 

Shoes and other footwear 

Dry goods and textile products 

Automotive equipment, parts and 
accessories 

Soaps and toilet articles 

Wiring supplies and construction 
material 

House furnishings 

Hardware 

Petroleum and its products 

Paper goods 

Cig ars, cigaret tes and to bacco 
Cigars 
Cigarettes 
Tobacco 
Not itemized 

All o ther commodities 

R eceipts from services 



3 


3,634 


3 


2,721 


1 


2,175 


3 


4,520 


6 


6,708 


2 


3,999 


3 


4,089 


6 


8,693 


35 


41 , 074 


10 


20,904 


2 


5,437 


3 


3,145 


4 


3,735 


21 


35,288 


28 


40,064 


19 


19,163 


22 


21,850 


13 


19,345 



311 
111 

55 

192 
56 
50 
50 

37 
2,914 

63 
293 

59 
197 
732 

2,349 



8.6 
4.1 
2.5 

4.2 

.3 

1.3 

1.2 

.4 
7.1 

.3 
5.3 

1.9 
5.3 
2.1 

5.9 



4J,82 



160 
935 
297 
907 

309 



.8 
4.5 

1.5 



7.4 



26 


$29,383 


$2,079 


7.1 


2.9 


34 


51,083 


745 


1.5 


1.0 


67 


72,451 


6,911 


9.5 


9.5 


9 


11,814 


966 


8.2 


1,3 


8 


19,312 


1,161 


6.0 


1.6 



.4 
.2 
.1 

.3 
.1 
.1 
.1 

.1 

4.0 

.1 
.4 

.1 

.3 

1.0 

3.2 



521