RETAIL TRADE: Get It Wholesale

"It's getting so that anyone is just a damned fool to buy anything at retail," said James Shea, a big Dallas electric-appliance distributor. Shea, like many another U.S. appliance jobber, is finding that more & more of his business is coming from "discount houses" which offer everything from washing machines, refrigerators and TV sets, down to fountain pens, at 20% to 30% below list price.

The discount house is the biggest current phenomenon of U.S. merchandising. It has department stores, small dealers and other established merchants worried sick. To meet the "I...

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