The Gold Standard - Gold, Hallmark & GMROII

The Gold Standard - Gold, Hallmark & GMROII

by Danny Summers

Gold has been a highly-valued precious metal throughout recorded history. Gold hallmarks originated to show the purity of gold in a piece of gold jewelry and included the mark of the certifying office that guaranteed the purity as well as the fineness or caratage of the gold. Later, trademarks that showed which goldsmith had manufactured the product were added.

Hallmarking gold jewelry was Europe's earliest form of consumer protection, dating back to King Louis IX of France and Edward I of England in the 1200s. As craft guilds sprung up in these two dominant markets during the Middle Ages in Europe, state-appointed assayers examined precious metal goods. Their prescribed mark, and subsequently marks for individual goldsmiths and production dates, became a pre-requisite for gold items offered for public sale.

In 1327, King Edward III of England granted a charter to the ‘Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths,’ headquartered in London at Goldsmiths' Hall. The English term ‘hallmark’ originates with this hall and its official marks. You can read more history of gold hallmarking READ MORE HISTORY ON HALLMARKING HERE.

Fast-forward to January 10, 1910, when a teenager from Nebraska stepped off a train in Kansas City, Missouri, with little more than big dreams and two shoeboxes of picture postcards that was all the rage at the time. His name was J.C. Hall. He was the youngest of three brothers from Norfolk, Nebraska.

J.C. quickly began having success selling his postcards and soon one of his brothers joined him and they opened a retail store specializing in post cards, gifts, books and stationery. As postcard sales began to decline, they recognized the public’s desire for more privacy in their communication, so they started offering high-quality valentines and Christmas cards mailed in envelopes. In 1915, they made the decision to buy a printing press and begin producing their own greeting cards.

Their first expansion into other product lines came in 1917 when the Hall brothers 'invented' modern gift wrap. During the peak Christmas season, the Hall Brothers Store ran out of solid-colored gift dressing and improvised by selling fancy decorated French envelope linings. Those sold out so quickly that the brothers decided to begin printing their own gift wrap.

By 1923, the third brother joined them and they formed 'Hall Brothers Company'. It was about this time that J.C. began to consider replacing 'Hall Brothers Company' on the back of greeting cards with the phrase, 'A Hallmark Card'. Yes, this is the story of how Hallmark began – right in Kansas City, Missouri.

J.C. was intrigued by the word 'hallmark' used by goldsmiths as a mark of quality. He liked that it not only said quality but also included his family name. So, in 1928, the company began marketing its brand by using the Hallmark name on the back of every card. We all know the tagline...

   "When you care to send the very best... Hallmark."

There is so much more to share about Hallmark but for now, I will just add there are many parallels to the Hallmark story as the third generation of the Hall family is leading the still-privately-held company's Board of Directors today. They still call Kansas City home. Watch for more shared details about the Hall Family and Hallmark in upcoming GROUPtalks. If you want to jump into much more of the Hallmark history here's a LINK.

The Group's Annual P&L Study - a Garden Retailing Industry Hallmark
J.C. Hall's recognition of a hallmark of gold being the mark of quality also has a parallel to what we do in The Group's Annual P&L Study. The benchmarks set in this exclusive industry program for Margins, GMROII, and Profit could easily be considered hallmarks for the Garden Retailing Industry.

On March 11th, Tim Quebedeaux and Steve Bailey presented the Annual P&L Study 2021 Reveal in a GROUPtalk LIVE Session. Even if you were not with us during that presentation, Group Centers can see the recording at any time. Just log into The Group WebSystem, go to the Clients-Only menu, and scroll down to Training - Annual P&L Study 2021 Reveal.

Beginning today, Tim Quebedeaux shares Part 1 of the Annual P&L Study 2021 Series HERE. Watch for each of the 4+ sessions in the coming weeks. In the meantime...

Mark Your Calendar - September 19-22, 2022 - You'll be busy and out of town!

Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!



Share this post:

Comments on "The Gold Standard - Gold, Hallmark & GMROII"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment