Staples Ladderax prices in the 1960’s and 1970’s 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) 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 have 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.