This type of market differs from the regular public market inasmuch as it is usually owned by individuals or a corporation, who put up a building and then sub-lease or rent space or stalls in the market. This type of market is popular in lower California, and also in certain southwestern states. Los Angeles has a very large semi-public market, which may be considered a model as it is conducted by a corporation that regulates the conduct of the stall renters in such a way that fair competition exists and that the trade gets the maximum service and good products.
While the operation and conduct of a public market maybe influenced by someone in political power, the semi-public market is usually managed by business men whose main object is to get maximum returns on their investment by fair business methods.
The Typical Straight Meat Market
This is usually known as a regular meat market and is the one most common over the entire United States. “MEAT RETAILING” deals chiefly with the various practices of this particular type.
The Combination Meat and Grocery Market
This may be considered also typical of the average neighborhood store, handling meats and groceries. Although there are no positive definite figures available, it is estimated that over 50% of the meat markets in the United States also handle groceries ; some a complete line and others a limited line. Types of such stores whether they handle meats or not, are usually influenced by local conditions. There are cities in the United States where over 98% of meat markets also handle groceries, while in New York City, as an illustration, more straight meat markets exist than the combination type of market.
The Department Store Market
On account of the perishable nature of meats, the majority of department stores do not handle this product. The city of Chicago leads in the number of department store meat markets. With the exception of a few, practically all the largest department stores in Chicago have large meat departments. It is estimated that two of these department stores do the largest volume of retail meat business in the city: Outside of Chicago, meat markets in department stores are rarely found.
The Commissary Market or Company Store
Industrial corporations operating steel plants, coal mines, lumber mill camps, or other large plants, have also found it advisable to operate meat markets in conjunction with the general stores usually conducted by the company. Markets of this type are usually con-ducted in a very business-like manner. They also furnish an ad-vantage to the employes, inasmuch as they are able to receive credit against their pay checks. Owners of this type of store also sell their employes coupon books for their meat purchases at the store. In industrial centers, the company stores form a very important part in the retail distribution of meats.
From the standpoint of service to the buying public, it is, of course, highly desirable to buy meats right at the front door. In that case, there would be no need to go shopping or to send the children for meat. While the methods employed by the meat peddler have certain objectionable features, another method of food distribution has sprung up in the so-called “Mototeria System” which operates in Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich. The mototeria system operates a fleet of motor trucks which are really grocery and meat stores on wheels.
In the front of the mototeria is a double section refrigerator. The top of this refrigerator serves as a counter. In the refrigerator are contained the eggs, meats, butter, cheese, etc. All meats are cut to order at the central plant. The customer gives her order to the operator of the mototeria the day before, It is dropped in an order basket located on the entrance to the mototeria. On the next day, the customer receives the package of meat, which has been cut during the night and placed in the refrigerator of the mototeria, ready for delivery the next morning.
There is no question but that this system effects a saving in over-head expense as there is only one central meat cutting establishment and one electric meat cutter can cut up meat in sufficient quantities to supply an entire fleet of mototerias. The operators claim that this operation alone saves the cost of the equipment for eleven meat markets, and the wages for that many clerks is also saved.
According to the statement of an official of the Mototeria Company, the average weekly business of the chain store is from $600 to $770, while the mototeria brings in an average of $1,000 per week. In addition there is no rent to pay, clerk hire is reduced to one man and turn-over is naturally increased. Another great advantage is the fact that unlike the average meat market, the mototeria does not have peak hours. Another advantage claimed by the mototeria is the fact that it is able to go into restricted areas in every community which are closed against stores of every kind.
The Meat Peddler’s Wagon
This usually very insanitary method of retail meat distribution is still in existence in some localities, not alone in rural, but also in industrial districts. While the meat peddler has as equal a right to do business as the typical meat owner, the exposing of meats in an open wagon for a long period is objectionable. The usual insanitary and unclean wagon or automobile adds to this objection.
Until such a time as local authorities will provide sanitation laws for conducting a meat business in wagons, this form of retail meat distribution will have these objectionable features. The meat peddler, however, claims that inasmuch as he has to serve customers, who on account of location are unable to come to the store, he has to deliver and cut meats to order.
There is, however, a probability that if the meat peddler did not come around the people would buy meats at the regular meat market. This is proved by the fact that there are not hundreds, but thousands of localities in the United States where farmers and other rural dwellers drive many miles once or twice a week to buy their meat at a meat market in the nearest town.