Unseasonal Weather

One balmy day last week, a Manhattan housewife shopped for her summer clothes. In one store she eyed a cotton dress, turned on her heel when she saw the $40 price tag. But before she could get away, the saleswoman stopped her; the dress had just been marked down. The new price was $15; the customer took it.

It was no isolated case. Summer clothes in stores all over the U.S. were going at bargain rates. In Atlanta, Rich's offered $4 cotton dresses (40% below last year). In Nashville, Harvey's department store slashed all its prices by 35% to 40%....

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