Inventory Boom

BUSINESS & FINANCE

From the black-windowed, sandbag-roofed Manhattan offices of the New York Federal Reserve Bank last week came a jolting report: in February, New York City department-store inventories were 49% above a year ago. Manhattan is the No. 1 U.S. shopping center, but hinterland stores are buying too: total U.S. department-store inventories are well over the 100 mark (1923-25 = par), against 73 a year ago, 54 at depression's bottom.

Behind this inventory boom is a store-manager panic, a store-buyer picnic. Fearing bare shelves when their stores were customer-packed, storekeepers last summer...

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