The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 102
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
during war years that they would sometimes buy from outlet houses; that
is, wholesalers who had bought up excess inventories from jobbers.46
Commenting on these same excursions, Marjorie Stamps added that
she and Bess would "get up at 2 A.M. in order to get to Dallas by 8 A.M.
and be in line to buy. It was hard to get merchandise in war years; short-
ages were awful. You could sell anything you could get. After buying our
merchandise, we would bring some of it home in our car. We paid extra
for this privilege, but on the other hand, bringing it direct prevented us
from getting stuff on back order. Two companies we liked were
'Higginbotham-Bailey-Logan' and 'Lorch,' but their merchandise was
hard to get. Oh yes, we sold Swandown coats. Back in those days we had
only two ready-to-wear markets and two shoe markets a year. Odd as it
seems now , our fall market was in August."47
As noted previously, we are generally without numerical financial data
for Lanier's stores. Nevertheless, there are a number of details and
financial indicators noted that, in toto, say considerable things about
store size and profits. Such indices include: descriptions of store-build-
ing plans; number of employees; Dunn and Bradstreet rating; cash pur-
chases of businesses and Jasper store building; the practice of "taking-
the-discount" on wholesale purchases; rapid stock turnovers; subsistence
throughout the Great Depression (though failing to branch out success-
fully); and the family's upper-middle-class lifestyle.
While the above evidence is not definitive for size and profitability of
Lanier's businesses prior to 1941, for that year and for the World War II
years 1942 to 1945, among his most profitable, there are financial data
recently assayed by Don N. Brewer, certified public accountant, in
Austin, Texas. Brewer's review of extant balance sheets for The Model, J.
A. Lanier, proprietor, over the years 1941 to 1945, reveals a striking
change in net worth from $21,575 in 1941 to $107,741 in 1945, a 400
percent increase. Cash on hand for the same period rose from $4,434 to
$47,380. In contrast, merchandise inventory fell from $7,418 in 1941 to
$4,975 in 1945.
Further findings from Brewer's analysis include a net worth in year
2ooo dollars of $1,056,287 at the end of 1945, no liabilities for that
year, markup for 1944 of about 40 percent, and an inventory turnover
during World War II of about ten times yearly.
In 1946, the war over, Ware Stamps returned to The Model and
resumed his managerial duties, a most timely circumstance for Lanier
due to his progressive illness. Business was brisk and profitable for The
16 Childers to Lanier, Sept. 5, 1996, interview, notes in author's possession.
47 Stamps to Lanier, Apr. 11, 1987, interview.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/130/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.