MESSRS R. CRAWFORD & CO.
The transference of this old-established firm's business from the well-known premises in Hindley-street to those formerly occupied bv Messrs. Finlayson & Co. in King William
street, has been attended with the happiest results. In place of the somewhat dull and dingy appearance of the former establishment there is now a shop-front alluringly attractive, and an interior that is a picture as neat and bright as one would wish to see. Nor has the business in any way suffered by thes change, for Messrs. Crawford &, Co. have found their old-time customers quite prepared to follow them, and they have gained a great number of new ones. The reason for this is probably due to the fact that this firm has ever made it a rule to keep only the best of everything. No sacrifice of quality is ever made to cheap ness, and Messrs. Crawford it Co. are convinced that their customers prefer to pay a fair price for 'good goods' rather than risk getting inferior goods at slightly less cost. Although the shop has bean extended as far back as possible. Messrs. Crawford & Co. still experience a difficulty in showing off their comprehensive stock to the best advantage. This difficulty is especially felt just now when so much extra space is needed for the Christ- mas trade. It can be safely said, however, that the space at their disposal has been utilized to the fullest extent, and owing to the judicious absence of any elaboration in the shop-fittings customers are enabled to see at a glance most of the more prominent lines. The neat showcases opposite the counter side are stocked with chocolates in fancy boxes, toilet soaps and requisites, perfumery, &c, and a choicely varied stock it is. The chocolate boxes are, in some instances, extremely elabo rate affairs and as highly finished as any lady could desire. There ate hundreds of boxes of bonbons of every description, and the higher priced ones are especially pretty. The prices of the chocolate-boxes range from Id. to 30s., and tbe bonbon-boxes from 9d. to 5s., so that the choice is practically only limited by the purse or pocket of the purchaser. A line that Messrs. Crawford & Co. have made somewhat of a speciality is the 'Santa Claus Stockings' These attractive articles are put up in tran- sparent net of various colours, through which the contents can be easily seen. They contain treasures dear to the hearts of children, be- sides a supply of sweets, and they are filled to suit boys or girls. The prices range from 4d. to 1s. 6d. each. If only old Santa Claus gets to hear of these, we can imagine how he will chuckle at the amount of time and trouble that they will save him. The sweetmeats known as satinettss look very attractive in their glass jars. They contain 25 per cent, of malt extract, and are therefore appetising as well as tasty. Prepared icing sugar of assorted flavours and colours, and put up in bottles with screw-metal lids, is a line likely to be appreciated by domestic confectioners and pastrycooks. Tbe supply of fancy table papers is very choice and varied. Every size, shape, and kind of dish is provided for, the designs being simple or elaborate as required. In table raisins, Messrs. Crawford & Co. are showing the finest that have ever been imported. They are, indeed, a splendid lot and have evidently been put up expressly for the Christmas trade. The raisins prepared by Mr. Robson, of "Ellythorp," Hectorville, are well worthy of notice, and compare very favourably with the imported specimens, especially as the cost per lb. is little more than half that of the imported ones. The dried figs, too, in boxes and in jars, are temptingly choice and warranted to make the mouth water at sight. Messrs. Crawford & Co. have an ample stock of Huntley & Palmer's famous Reading biscuits, which may be obtained by the pound or tin. The well-known local firm of Motteram & Williamson is also well repre- sented, and mention must be made of the special-size tins of assorted biscuits, com- prising mixed, coffee, sultana, and Marie, which are sold at 5s. Tho collection of tinned goods, comprising every article of diet, popular and epicurean, is as extensive as it is varied. Plum puddings. mincemeat, cakes, meat, fish, game, soups, pates, vegetables, fruits, marma lade, and jams, &c. &c., may be had in this convenient form. The produce counter is well supplied with the best goods, and some very fine Christmas hams are to bo seen. A visit to the cellars is calculated to astonish the ordinary individual ignorant of the enor- mous reserve stock necessary for a firm such as this. The area extends far beyond the shop limits, and every nook and corner is closely packed with stock. The wine and spirit trade of this firm, though almost confined to family requirements, needs a large portion of the cellarage, and this branch of the business appears to be very brisk. A peep into the forwarding department shows several assis tants-working at their hardest in packing and dispatching city, suburban, and country orders, and one is led to wonder what the scene will be within the next few days when the Christmas rush is at its wildest, and, from the hard-worked assistants' point of view, at its worst.