A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 26, 2012
“Pile it high and watch it fly” (merchandising adage)

"Pile/Stack it/them/’em high, sell it/them/’em cheap” was a motto of Jack Cohen (1898-1979), a British businessman who founded the Tesco supermarket chain. “Pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap” has been cited in print since at least 1954. A book by Maurice Corina was titled Pile it high, sell it cheap: the authorised biography of Sir John Cohen, founder of Tesco (1971).

“Pile it high, watch it fly” has been cited in print since at least 1986. WalMart, Fairway and other stores have been said to use this merchandising philosophy.


The Free Dictionary
pile it/them high and sell it/them cheap (mainly British)
to sell large amounts of something at cheap prices

Wikipedia: Jack Cohen (Tesco)
Sir John Edward Cohen (6 October 1898 – 24 March 1979), born Jacob Edward Kohen and commonly known as Jack Cohen, was a British businessman who founded the Tesco supermarket chain.
(...)
In 1932, having opened his first shops, Cohen travelled to the United States to review their self-service supermarkets. At the time he was not impressed and felt they would never be accepted in the UK. After the war he took another look and listened to his son-in-law Hyman Kreitman, who was very keen. He opened one of the first British supermarkets. The new strategy was led by Kreitman who understood how to manage this new style of shop and the crucial tasks of mass buying, selling and logistics. TESCO grew strongly. It gradually drew ahead of its rivals and took over many of them.

Google Books
News for Farmer Cooperatives
Volume 21, Issue 3
1954
Pg. 2:
... successful and proved again that there are other ways to sell citrus than “pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap.”

Google Books
The Super Market:
A revolution in distribution

By Max M. Zimmermann
New York, NY: MacGraw-Hill
1955
Pg. 18:
I prefer to consider a Super Market as a new method of food merchandising, based on the theory of “Pile it High and Sell it Cheap,” plus the elimination of service and introducing of self-service techniques.

Google Books
Competition and Price Making in Food Retailing;
The anatomy of supermarket operations

By Ralph Cassady
New York, NY: Ronald Press Co.
1962
Pg. 10:
I prefer to consider a Super Market as a new method of food merchandising, based on the theory of “Pile it High and Sell it Cheap,” plus the elimination of service and introducing of self-service techniques.

OCLC WorldCat record
Pile it high, sell it cheap: the authorised biography of Sir John Cohen, founder of Tesco.
Author: Maurice Corina
Publisher: London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

11 February 1986, Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Korean family prospers in Philadelphia produce business” by John Edward Young (Christian Science Monitor), pg. FD16, col. 2:
“It’s the ‘pile it high, watch it fly’ approach. He is without question the most successful produce dealer in Philadelphia.”

Google Books
15 November 1986, Billboard magazine, “Racks Become Big Players In Video” by Earl Paige, pg. 38, col. 1:
Drawing from his experience in hard goods, where the motto was “Stack ‘em high, let ‘em fly,” De Lellis suggested the new metaphor might be “Rack ‘em deep, we’ll all weep together.”

New York (NY) Times
THE MEDIA BUSINESS: Advertising; Marketing By Hospital Is a Success
By Randall Rothenberg
Published: December 07, 1988
(...)
‘’What hospitals have traditionally done is advertising that says, ‘We care,’ ‘’ Mr. Kimmel said. ‘’That’s a waste of money. Of course you care, you fool! By narrowing our focus, by not engaging in what retailers call ‘pile it high and make it fly’ marketing, we focused the consumer’s attention.’’

BusinessWeek
May 11, 1992
CAN THESE GUYS REVIVE MACY’S?
(...)
That’s not the only merchandising strategy subject to revision. “There will have to be reshaping of where they want to go,” says Leonard Lauder, CEO of Estee Lauder Inc., a large Macy creditor. “Do they want to be an upmarket department store, or do they want to go back to the old Macy’s: ‘Pile it high and let it fly!’”

Google Books
The Underdog Advantage:
Using the power of insurgent strategy to put your business on top

By David Morey and Scott Miller
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
2004
Pg. 144:
Wal-Mart realized that its “stack ‘em high, price ‘em low, and watch ‘em fly” concept would be light on customer support, so it put that support right at the very entrance to the store with its now famous geriatric “greeters.”

Toronto (Ontario) Star
Mink Mile the latest stop for Mendocino
September 09, 2006
Rita Zekas
(...)
“American shops have given up on service,” Caron says. “The attitude is: pile it high and watch it fly.”

OCLC WorldCat record
INFO MANAGEMENT - “Stack ‘em High, Sell ‘em Cheap” Not Just for Retail Superstores
Author: John R Latham
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : The Association, c1997-
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: Information outlook : the monthly magazine of the Special Libraries Association. 11, no. 6, (2007): 92
Database: ArticleFirst

Racked
Fairway To Stack ‘Em High And Let ‘Em Fly In The UES
Monday, August 16, 2010, by Carlye Wisel
This winter, Upper East Siders will have to walk a little less far to fill their pantries. (Well, at least the delivery guys will.)

ThoughtTech—On The Horizon
2012 Retail Trend – Back To Real Merchandising
01/02/2012
If 2011 was the year the big box formula proved to be a dud. The big box formula can be summarized by the adage, “stack ‘em high and let ‘em fly”. In other words, all a retailer has to do to sell is price it cheap and have enough on hand. This formula has filtered into online shopping as well.

Evelyn’s Crackers
March 26, 2012 · 2:28 am
Pointers from a Farmers Market Vender
By participating in several farmers markets, over the years, we have learned a few ways that help us to increase our sales and maximize our presence.

Here are some tips that you can use if you are selling:

1. There is an old saying in the retail business, “Pile it high and watch it fly!” Have plenty of product and display it all on the table not underneath. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (1) Comments • Monday, March 26, 2012 • Permalink


Pile it high. Sell it cheap and watch it fly. I love that tag line!

Posted by Charlotte @ Print Brochures  on  03/26  at  08:45 PM

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