Saturday, April 21, 2018

Cash Butcher What is a Cash Butcher?

Cash Butcher 705 Sebastopol St Ballarat

Cash Butchers became very popular from around the early 20th Century with a focus on delivering fresh cuts of meat at the most competitive price possible. As the name implies, the main feature of cash butchers (although not the only one) was the claim that they did not buy on credit and they did not sell on credit. This meant there was no costs associated with borrowing and lending in the credit process, such as chasing up debts, along with no losses from unpaid debts, resulting in lower prices.
Gamon St Footscray

A second aspect of the cash butcher was the concept of shortening the supply chain so that a hawker would no longer be buying cuts of meat and on-selling them.

A third aspect of the cash butcher was that the transaction would take place in a shop rather than as part of a delivery round, although deliveries still continued especially in country areas where it might not have been convenient for consumers to access a shop.

This primary focus of the cash butcher can be seen in the following advertisement from 1904, which also indicates how it was assumed that dealing in cash led to lower prices.

Mr. G. W. Stubbs, cash butcher, corner of Lake and Brisbane streets, advertises that he can supply the very best of meat, all locally killed, at the lowest possible prices. He buys for cash and by selling for cash, he is able to supply a superior article at a price to suit the times.
(The Daily News (Perth, WA), Mon 11 Jul 1904, Page 1)

Williams Cash Butcher Tarnagulla
The preceding advertisement also gives a hint to the aspect of shortening the supply chain, with the the belief that the meat would be prepared for sale very close to the point of sale, or "locally killed".

Advertisement for Kidman Bros. Cash Butchers
The advertisement for Kidman Bros. cash butchers is an Australian example of the extremes of this approach as to a certain extent Kidman Bros. controlled the entire supply chain, raising and fattening the cattle, butchering the cattle, and then retailing the cuts of meat.

Most cash butchers did not control the cattle farming or actual butchering (except in country areas, where Kidman Bros. was located (Broken Hill)), but it was essential that they were skilled butchers so they would not have to pay for that part of the process as well.