Francis Spite & Co. Limited
Francis Spite & Co. Limited, Wholesale Grocers, Italian Warehousemen, Patent
Medicine Vendors, &c., 26, 28 and 30, St. Enoch. Square.—
The eminent house named at the head of this brief sketch was founded in 1876, by Mr. Francis Spite, in the New City Road, Glasgow, and removed in 1881 to its present central address in St. Enoch Square. In 1887, a re-constitution of the firm took place, in order to properly effect the addition of the new department for drugs and dispensing. Six co-proprietors were then introduced into the management of the new business, and the concern is now carried on upon a limited liability basis, with the founder and and former principal, Mr. Francis Spite, in the office of managing director.
The commercial operations of this thoroughly representative house are of very great magnitude, and consist in the exemplification of two distinct branches of trade : (1), the supplying of teas, coffee, general groceries, provisions, butchers' meat, and all Italian warehousemen’s sundries ; and (2) the vending of patent medicines, the supplying of all kinds of drugs and chemists’ sundries, and the dispensing of prescriptions. In these two lines the company constitutes one of the most noteworthy and important institutions in Glasgow to-day.
The premises in St. Enoch Square, purchased by the house three or four years ago, and known as the “Economic Supply Stores”, comprise a stately and strikingly handsome block of six ample floors, with a commanding frontage to the Square, and large lofty windows in each flat, admitting a flood of advantageous light to each department in the establishment. Here the company have centralized their whole business. The stock of groceries, provisions, tea, coffee ; and oilmen’s specialities gathered together by Messrs. Francis Spite & Co. Limited, and placed, on sale in the first and original department of their business, is one of the most select and valuable in the city, and is thoroughly inclusive of everything that can be properly classed under the above heads.
The cash system is a special-feature of this extensive business ; and in the maintenance of such a system, Messrs. Francis Spite & Co. Limited, possess the best and amplest means of trading to the direct advantage of their patrons. To merely enumerate a tithe of the specialities of the house would exhaust many times over the space at our disposal. Indeed, there is hardly an item in the stock that does not possess some of the characteristics of a speciality. Certainly there is nothing that is not worthy of being regarded as such ; and the firm’s voluminous and well-arranged catalogue and price-list can be confidently recommended to public notice as an index to one of the most complete and comprehensive stocks of its kind in Scotland.
In short, the establishment fully justifies its title — the “Economic Supply Stores”. The drug department was added in December, 1887, and under its present conditions the company are prepared to supply genuine drugs and chemicals, patent medicines and proprietary articles of the best reputation, invalids' specialities and infants’ foods, perfumery, fancy soap, toilet requisites, homoeopathic medicines, aerated and mineral waters, ships’, yachts' and family medicine chests, trusses, air and water beds and cushions, belts, and all kinds of surgical appliances. In every instance in the above connections, the scale of prices is of a reduced character, and is remarkably moderate.
The dispensing department is under eminently qualified supervision, and here physicians' prescriptions and family recipes are accurately dispensed, with the finest drugs and chemicals exclusively. The economy to be effected in these matters by the general public is unquestionably very great ; and it is most gratifying to able to record here that the success achieved by this new department since its inauguration has been fully commensurate with its high purpose. In connection with their drug department, Messrs. Francis Spite & Co. Limited, issue another bulky catalogue, which is not only a complete handbook and cash price-list to a stock of exceptional magnitude, but also possesses a special value as a practical medical adviser, being replete with valuable and effective information. It will be well, therefore, if this catalogue has an extensive circulation.
In all respects the business of Messrs. Francis Spite & Co Limited, is well and enterprisingly, conducted ; and its ever-growing volume of operations embraces the whole of the United Kingdom, and extends to all the colonies and several foreign countries. Mr. Spite himself has had a valuable and thoroughly practical business training, and the office of managing director of a concern of such increasing importance as this could not be occupied by one better qualified for the post. In the responsibilities and duties of his high position Mr. Spite is ably assisted by Mr. H. Ribbons, one of the directorate, who has been exceedingly successful in the development and supervision of special departments of the business ; and between these two gentlemen and the other co-proprietors, the affairs of the company receive an administration, the principles and thorough efficacy of which contain promise of an assured future prosperity, as enduring as it is undoubtedly well deserved.
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