RETAIL TRADE: The Los Angeles Spirit

Barker Brothers Corp., one of the world's biggest house-furnishing stores, is admitted by its competitors to be the finest existing example of "The Los Angeles Spirit." This spirit is compact of two things which Southern Californians love: 1) a gaudy, glittery Hollywood veneer; 2) a loud, high-pressure sales technique. Barker's had shown this spirit so effectively that last week, despite the acute wartime shortages of furniture, the company said its 1944 gross would be $15,500,000, the highest since 1927.

In keeping with the Hollywood motif, Barker's has a lobby which is a replica of a Moorish palace. Customers are seined in...

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