RETAIL TRADE: The Bargain Man

Manhattan's Liberty Music Shops, Inc., which claims to be the biggest U.S. retailer of phonograph records, reached its eminence with a strict policy against cut-price sales. But in half-page ads last week, it astonished the record industry by cutting prices 30% on "ALL MAKES—ALL SPEEDS —ALL SIZES." As sales jumped tenfold, Macy's and Gimbels reduced their own record prices by 30%; Brooklyn's Abraham & Straus advertised cuts of 40%. As some Boston retailers also slashed prices, it looked as if the price war might spread across the country.

The war came when the record business was good (sales were close...

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