RETAIL TRADE: Short-Haired Merchant

After Los Angeles' huge Bullock's Inc. department store took over I. Magnin & Co. six years ago, oldtime customers complained that the elegance of the Magnin stores had become tarnished. In the seven-store chain, which for years had been the leader of the West Coast fashion trade, service slipped and customers got the feeling that nobody cared whether they bought anything or not.

Last week, as Grover Magnin, the last of the Magnin family, stepped out at the mandatory retirement age of 65, a new man stepped in to shine things up. Into the $45,000-plus presidency of...

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