miércoles, 29 de febrero de 2012

Hachirobei Mitsui

Tomado del libro "12 grandes fortunas" de John T. Flynn

"IN THE PRIVATE museum of the Mitsui family in Tokyo there is
preserved an ancient sign. It is the sign which hung over the first
Yedo store of that Mitsui who founded the family commercial
empire. It was hung out in 1673. It reads: CASH PAYMENTS AND A
SINGLE PRICE. Two hundred and fifty years before Woolworth and,
for that matter, a hundred years before that London Bridge draper
for whom Robert Owen worked, there in ancient Tokyo was a
cash-and-carry, one-price store in the bickering, bargaining Orient.
This was the store of Hachirobei Mitsui. He began his career as
a boy of fourteen in a little Tokyo shop. He ended as the leading
merchant in the Japan of his day. He must have been a merchant of
unusual talents. For in that distant day and in that uncommercial
world, he is credited with having introduced a group of mercantile
innovations that American business-office essayists are fond of extolling
as the peculiar fruit of the McKinley-Coolidge cycle.
He opened branch stores, at least six of them, before he died.
He established his own central warehouse. He inaugurated profit
sharing among his higher employees. He housed his employees in
large, airy dormitories, carefully supervised them, and introduced
several hygienic regulations. He used double-entry bookkeeping.
More surprising, he was a pioneer in advertising. On rainy days his
spacious store in Suruga-cho, Tokyo, would lend to customers
umbrellas flaunting on their roofs the name of Mitsui. He used
billposters proclaiming the name of Mitsui in large block letters.
He subsidized producers, playwrights, and actors to work the
Mitsui name and store into the lines of the picaresque dramas so
popular in that day, thus becoming a sponsor and by two hundred
and fifty years anticipating the radio "commercial" of today."


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