STATE OF BUSINESS: Fast Finish

After one of the slowest starts in years, Christmas retail sales last week finished a surprising 4% ahead of record 1957. In Chicago subzero weather held December sales well below last year almost up to the final week. Then the weather and the customers' sales resistance thawed out together. Vice President J. Chalmers O'Brien of the Loop's 104-year-old Carson Pirie Scott reported that the Monday before Christmas, sales were the highest for any shopping day ever, and "by quite a margin." Near the North Shore, the Old Orchard shopping center said that its tenant Marshall Field "had terrific 1957...

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