‘Loss leader’ marketing tactics are obviously not a new phenomenon. George's cousin Rowland married his Lizzie in the early summer of 1882 in her home town of Leek in Shropshire, prudently waiting until he was making a success of his business.
17, The Hayes,
May 5th 1880
My dear Cousin
I was exceedingly pleased to hear from you the other day for tis such a long time since any communication passed between us, allow me to congratulate you on the termination of your apprenticeship and I must say with all due diffedence to Uncle’s welfare, that I commend your determination to leave Llandudno at an early period, for I presume your position and experience have now somewhat the same as I passed through, and I found that I had to learn and unlearn a great deal, if Mr. Hern was now in business I should recommend you to spend six months or so under his tuition, for he certain made a man of me if a man I am.
Well dear Cousin you see I am now fairly in the battle of life and I find the struggle hard and as yet somewhat uncertain for you and I have opened a new business altogether matters would be far different perhaps had I taken on an old established place, as it is you see I must be content with merely casual customers as they pass by, for I have not been long enough in Cardiff to be very severally known but I flatter myself that the majority of my customers will come again once they have been here, nevertheless we have done very well indeed and things are improving.
We are in a very good position and quite opposite a large American meat market, but Cardiff is such a place for cheap goods and unless you can get your hand up being a cheap man you are nowhere so I have some things outside my door every day marked very cheap, (a sprat to catch a mackrel).
Mother has been up here for some time putting me all square or round, but she is now gone home again and I am left alone in the cargo hould, the first night (Sunday) I was left alone I heard a great noise down in the shop and must confess to having felt rather nervous, however so far so good as to having a housekeeper I have not the slightest intention of having a permanent one for years to come but when I do I suppose it will be the one I met at dear old Llandudno, I saw her at Xmas and she is still very well and just the same Lizzie Stubbs as ever.
I suppose you have heard something from Gower on the subject but I have not pleased them so will as to tell them the particulars I have told you and you need not do so for they never said a word to me about Jane my old sweetheart wedding nor even sent me a bit of wedding cake, of course is quite natural for them to suppose I am going to marry so do all the Cardiff people but I should not like to take anyone from a comfortable home until I had provided at least an equal one for her.
I am glad to know dear Cousin you are still going on in the good old way and earnestly pray you may continue so to do, please give my love to Florey and all the family dont forget Sill and tell him I am not in immediate want of a tinman but may be in the not very distant future, tell him I have not forgotten my promise to write to him.
Your affectionat Cousin
The Hayes and other old images of Cardiff