Retailing: No Embarrassed Customers

Into the downtown Detroit department store of the J. L. Hudson Co. stomped an outraged customer, demanding to return a suit that he had bought a year before. He had just got around to taking it out of the box in which it was delivered. "Now look at it," he fumed. "It's wrinkled." Where most department stores might have offered a free pressing, Hudson's complaint department without a murmur refunded the full purchase price of the suit.

This attitude, the product of a scrupulously enforced rule that "the customer must never be embarrassed," has helped make the 80-year-old J.L....

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