BRAZIL: Buyers & Sellers

Ignoring the steady drizzle, excited cariocas began to queue up outside the white stucco store as early as 6 a.m. What had brought them was a display of advertising such as they had never seen. For weeks, Rio newspapers had carried big, purse-tickling ads promising "Tudo para Todos [Everything for Everybody]." The day before, whole sections were taken up with an illustrated catalogue of everything from egg beaters to beds. Sears, Roebuck & Co. was opening its first branch in Rio.

By the 10 a.m. opening hour that first day, jostling crowds stretched for three blocks. They waited restively while...

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