TRADE: Out of Oxford Street

Off the liner Washington at Manhattan last week stepped a Wisconsin-born Britisher who looks more than a little like David Lloyd George: London's most famous merchant, 74-year-old H. Gordon Selfridge. To newshawks at the ship he said: "The opportunity to achieve . . . has been eliminated all over the world . . . everyone will be on salary . . . enterprise will be abandoned."

From the only man who ever bought a business* from five Jews and sold it to seven Scotchmen at a profit, this was a dire prophecy. Yet the pert, imaginative magnifico—who cleaned up a cool...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!