Vintage Toronto Ads: Furs on the Cheap
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Vintage Toronto Ads: Furs on the Cheap

Source: the Telegram, January 9, 1930.

Though you are under no obligation to buy, you can’t help but notice the hovering salesman as you wistfully glance at coats you can barely afford. Like clockwork, every 90 seconds he asks if he can help you try one on or find the coat of your dreams. Every five minutes, he waves a copy of the cheque shown in today’s ad and reminds you of how good today’s discounts are. “Feel free to compare our prices,” he says with a twinge of desperation creeping into his voice. “You are under no obligation. Take your time.”
Despite the discount, you contemplate if a fur is a proper investment at this time, given how your family’s other investments turned sour after the stock market crash. You decide the three sitting in your closet are still fine and head for the door. The salesman follows you. An anxious look rolls across his face as the corners of his mouth twitch. Finally, he breaks downs and violates the Levitt Policy. “Please, don’t go,” he begs. “Please buy one of our furs! Our manager was saddled with these coats, and if I don’t sell any, my family won’t eat next week! These coats are a good deal, aren’t they? Aren’t they?” As you leave the store, the salesman collapses into a sobbing heap on the floor.

Source: the Toronto Star, March 16, 1932.

We imagine it wasn’t easy to be a fur dealer as 1930 dawned. The first ripples of Black Friday were starting to be felt and luxuries like furs were among the first goods consumers cut back on. Taking on marked-down stock from suppliers did not help Levitt Furs in the long run; two years later, out of “dire necessity,” they liquidated their inventory and placed whatever else was left in the hands of an auctioneer.