World Business: Goliath Has the Upper Sword

Soon after Britain's tiny Wilkinson Sword Ltd. began selling stainless-steel razor blades in 1961, it captured 30% of the British blade market, dominated by Boston's slow-moving Gillette Co. It then moved into the U.S. and bravely challenged Gillette on its home ground. By last year Wilkinson had moved into 50 countries, run up a 1964 pretax profit of $9.8 million and made confident predictions of a 40% sales increase in 1965. It began to look as if tiny David were slaying the Gillette Goliath.

Things have not worked out that way. Wilkinson's sales in 1965 rose about 25%, but its profits are...

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