Britain: Devaluation at Work

The trend began modestly enough as a sales-promotion stunt. Selfridges department store, Britain's equivalent of Macy's, teamed up with the Parisian magazine Elle to fly 100 French housewives to London free for a shopping weekend. It picked up speed soon after Britain's devaluation, which cut sterling prices by 14.3% in terms of francs, marks, dollars and other major currencies—enough to reduce a $32 coat to $27. By last week, with the added lure of January sales, the influx of foreign shoppers to London's West End stores had swelled to a torrent.


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