December 22nd in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1949, the Seal Beach Baby Shop at 306 Main Street (next to the post office) opened its doors at 9:30 am to launch a massive sale devoted to “CLOSING OUT OUR ENTIRE STOCK to the PUBLIC at TERRIFIC PRICE REDUCTIONS.”

Forgive us for introducing you to a long forgotten Main Street Seal Beach business just as it’s announcing “Soon We Close Our Doors Forever, ” but it is only at the end that there is any record of the Seal Beach Baby Shop. All there that remains is this one full-page ad in the December 21st Long Beach Independent announcing the “Quitting Business Closing Out Sale” starting the next day.

It’s hard not to admire the elan and gusto that the owners put into the ad copy:

Terrific Price Reductions Throughout This Stock… To Insure A Quick Close-Out To The Bare Walls… A Complete Liquidation Of This Business Must Be Accomplished… Regardless Of Loss

It’s The End… The Finish.

We Are Going Out of Business. Thousands Of Dollars Worth of Fine Infants’ And Children’s Wear… To Be Thrown On The Market… And Sacrificed… At Tremendous Markdowns.

All Prices Slashed 
At Cost! Near Cost! Below Cost!

Our Purpose Is Clear… We Are Quitting Business… It is the End of This Fine Infants’ and Children’s Wear Store… We Go Into This, Our Farewell Sale, With But One Aim… TO LIQUIDATE THIS BUSINESS… NO MATTER WHAT THE LOSS MAY BE… For We Realize That Low Price and Low Price Alone Is the Only Thing That Will Turn This Merchandise Into Cash… Within the Time We Have Allotted Ourselves to Close This Store.

There Will Be No Let-Up to This Sacrifice Until This Store Is Swept Clear of Every Last Dollar’s Worth of Stock… Everything Must Be… Has to Be Sold… This Is One Sale That No Thrifty Buyer of Infants’ and Children’s Wear Can Afford to Pass By Unheeded… This Is a Sale That Will Include Every Dollar’s Worth of Merchandise in the Store… Only Our Own Regular Stock Will Be Presented to You… Nothing Has Been Added for Sale Purposes.

I think the meaning they’re hinting at is that they might be going out of business and that the prices might be a smidge lower than usual. Redundant ad copy and eccentric… punctuation… aside, you have to give the owners credit for not using a single exclamation point in the entire ad.

Kidding aside, I know it’s late by 68 years, but let’s wish the owners and employees of the Seal Beach Baby Shop the best of luck in their future endeavors. (even if their future is our past.)

– Michael Dobkins

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2 Responses to December 22nd in Seal Beach History

  1. Garry Herron says:

    Odd and ironic that this store would close just as the Baby Boom was gathering steam.

    Like

    • Michael Dobkins says:

      Garry,

      Keeping a business going on Main Street is a tough endeavor even under the best of circumstances. I get the impression that maybe they spent too much on inventory and ran through their cash reserves too fast and still had a few months on the lease. It’s just a guess, but December is usually the best retail month of the year, and yet they’re not waiting until December is done to sell at below cost. Since I made this post, I’ve found classified ads for this address throughout 1949 trying to sell a baby store at this address and then throughout the first few months of 1950, there a classifieds for this address trying to sell fixtures and leftover inventory. By May, a new business is at this address. It really seems like the owners spent a year barely hanging on and desperately seeking a way to escape. At this stage, it’s all guesswork because everyone involved is long gone.

      Take Care,
      mpd

      Like

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