Staples Ladderax prices in the 1960s and 1970s then and now !
In our growing vintage catalogue collection we have one of the first Ladderax catalogues which dates to 1962 , which is amazing as Wikipedia say it wasn’t produced until 1964 ! In 1962 there were shelves and cabinets , but no chests of drawers , they came later . We also have a 1971 catalogue , and a 1974 catalogue . Both the 1962 and the 1974 catalogue came with price lists . In 1962 the drop front writing cabinets were priced at £17 10 shillings ( £383-47 in today’s money according to an online inflation calculator), and by 1974 it would have cost you £37.0 ( £444.76 in today’s money ) . We’re currently selling re-furbished cabinets for around £160 !
In 1974 the 3 drawer chest would have cost you £45.30 which is £538.70 in today’s terms , yet we’re selling re-furbished ones for around £175 . We ve a 1968 Danish Cadovius wall system catalogue where a 4 drawer chest was priced at £34.14 , which in today’s money would be about £620 . The quality of the Cadovius piece is far superior , using nicer quality teak yet in real terms back in the day it wasn’t that much more expensive .
When we’re putting together Ladderax systems today the prices of vintage metal ladders is similar to what they would have originally cost allowing for inflation , but unfortunately re-furbished ones are more expensive as it costs about £30 a ladder to have them shot blasted and then powder coated . The big problem we currently have is that we are constantly running short of shelves ! Back in the day shelves were really cheap as they were easy to produce and took little skill to make . Shelves do get damaged over time and some no doubt were disposed of . Particularly in short supply are the deep 35cm shelves . We’ve bought some vintage systems in auctions only to find that some of the shelves were home made , so maybe some people made their own to save money ! We’d love to be able to go back in time to order some extra shelves , but can’t so supply and demand means that we now have to charge a premium price for them in real terms .
If you’re wanting a Ladderax system you’re getting the cabinets and chests really cheaply , but the shelves may turn out to be relatively expensive ! If you’ve studied economics you’ll know about the laws of supply and demand . The big advantage of Ladderax is that there is plenty of it around so it is possible to make up systems to order but you will have to pay a bit of a premium . We get lots of people who have bought systems on Ebay or in auctions and want to change pieces or add pieces . Unfortunately we can’t usually do this as we’d be left with lots of certain pieces and not be able to put together large systems for customers .