LR: What was the industry like at that time? I mean were people very competitive with people who were both, you know, in the business and also comrades today. Did they socialize? Was there a lot of competition? Was there any sort of…
MG: It was a brand new city and competition was there. It’s always there even in a small town. Depends what you do with it, you know. If you have the ambition or the creativeness to make it, you build in that knowledge to what you already know.
DG: It’s not as scary as it is today. Competition then was, you know, provided by stores like Woodward’s or the odd number of independents that were around but I think what helped my father stand out was his personality and his knowledge and love of the business. And his flair for promotion. And so he really was a leader in his category in those days and remained so for many years.
LR: What kind of promotions did you have? Did you have anything that was like, you know, ‘buy one, get this, this, this and that’ or…
MG: Well, that was a normal thing, yeah. Buy one, get one free. Or we’d have two for one suit sales. And with a jingle, “There’s not a single suit for sale at Murray Goldman, that’s because they come in twos.” So there was always a catch.
DG: He would give away things with the purchase of a suit that were very innovative for their day. For instance, when portable radios first came out in the 1950s it was a very new product. It was a radio you could play without plugging it into the wall. You know, not so earth-shattering today but then it was very innovative. And you would get one free with the purchase of a suit.
LR: Oh wow.
DG: Did the same thing with movie cameras when they first came out in the early 1960s.
MG: Kodak movie camera.
DG: Kodak movie camera, get one free with the purchase of a suit. At a time when the BC Lions and football was particularly meaningful in the city he would give away a pair of Grey Cup tickets with the purchase of a suit. You couldn’t buy a pair of Grey Cup tickets in those days, they would sell out very quickly. You could get a pair free for the purchase of a suit. Very innovate in its day.
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Black and white image of the display window from the Reitman's Ltd. W. Hastings storefront.
Exterior shot shows large display cube housing over ten mannequins wearing different dresses; purses and accessories placed on floor of cube, next to mannequins; die cuts on window read "Reitman's WHERE SMART WOMEN SHOP"