RETAIL TRADE: Connecticut Invasion

Outside a glassy new brick and marble store in West Hartford, Conn, last week, a squad of men worked feverishly wiring 40,000 artificial appleblossoms to a score of real trees. Inside the entrance, four sequined, papier-mâché peacocks bore signs proclaiming: WE'RE PROUD AS A PEACOCK TO BE IN HARTFORD. This week the building opened its doors with a peacock-proud flourish: ten gallons of Arpege perfume (retails at $23.50 an ounce) were sprayed around the entrance.

The new store represented the first move outside New York and its suburbs for Fifth Avenue's Lord & Taylor, bossed by go-getting...

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