A Customer’s Suggestion

Stanley Marcus (left), Herbert Marcus (right)

A well-meaning customer of Neiman-Marcus, an American chain of luxury department stores, sent the following letter to Stanley Marcus:

Dear Mr. Marcus,

I have been receiving beautiful and expensive brochures from you at regular intervals. It occurs to me that you might divert a little of the fortune you must be spending for this
advertising matter to raise the salaries of your more faithful employees. For instance, there’s an unassuming, plainly dressed little man on the second floor who always treats me with extreme courtesy when I visit your store and generally persuades me to buy something I don’t really want. Why don’t you pay him a little more? He looks as though he could use it.

Yours truly,

Mrs. W S.

Marcus sent this reply:

Dear Madam,

Your letter impressed us so deeply that we called a directors’ meeting immediately, and thanks solely to your own solicitude, voted my father a twenty-dollar-a-week raise.

Yours truly,

Stanley Marcus

Herbert Marcus, Stanley’s father, was one of the founders of Neiman-Marcus and its president at the time.

Reference (Click to Show)

Saturday Review of Literature, Vol. 31, July 1948

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com

17 thoughts on “A Customer’s Suggestion

  1. Interesting story Edmark. My late mom and I had no relatives after my grandmother and aunt passed away, so we had to have new wills made. As nature lovers, we decided to leave our entire estate to the National Wildlife Fund. Shortly after the wills were finalized, we ordered some Christmas cards from National Wildlife Fund. We got the cards and also started getting catalogs about every two weeks. Each time, a new picture of the President or CEO (don’t remember now – this was years ago) would appear and he would be wearing a different outfit. My mom said “I want to pick a different charity – they waste too much money on catalogs and the (*&^ person in charge has to have a new outfit on every time.” We changed the will to St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Funny how little things can make an impression sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved those catalogs they put out every Christmas! I’m a former teacher. Way back in the ’80s, we always kept one in the teacher’s lounge and often discussed some of the extravagant gifts – often amid much laughter and ribbing. Thanks for bringing back that great memory. Nice story.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. That’s an amazing story! I love that the company’s founder was in the store interacting with the customers. I have always had the most respect for supervisors and managers who spend time outside of their offices seeing what’s going on in their organizations.

    Liked by 3 people

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