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LearnEnglishBest / Рассказы, статьи / The Birth of the Penny Bazaar - Появление Пенни Базара [Marks & Spenser trademark]

The Birth of the Penny Bazaar - Появление Пенни Базара

From the open market in Leeds, Michael Marks [Marks & Spenser trademark] moved to its covered market hall. He divided his stall into two sections, and placed all those items costing a penny in one section and all those costing more in the other, where the prices were individually marked. Above the penny section hung a board with the words: "Don't Ask the Price. It's a Penny."

This proved to be one of the most successful advertising slogans ever invented. It was striking and simple and easily understood. Michael Marks's customers came from the working-class, then largely illiterate, and were keen to satisfy their domestic needs at a low price; the combination of open display, easy inspection, and a fixed price made shopping easy and convenient for them. "Don't Ask the Price. It's a Penny" quickly proved so popular that Michael Marks adopted the principle of the fixed price on all his stalls and from that moment on sold nothing that cost more than a penny.

The success of this new way of selling was extremely important for the development of the business. It proved not only to be convenient to the customers, it was also extremely convenient to the stall owner. Michael Marks never kept any accounts, and conducted his business operation by mental arithmetic. This element of operational simplicity was to become a central feature of the business. Michael Marks had put into practice two simple ideas - self-selection and self-service - which were to become cardinal principles in selling in the second half of the 20th century.

1. Why did Michael Marks not keep any accounts?
2. Who were the main customers of Michael Marks?
3. What were the principles Michael Marks realized?

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