Retailing: Happy Holidays

Despite Washington's efforts to cool down the economy and curb consumer spending, it is perhaps the safest of all bets that 1968 Christmas sales will set a new record—as they have regularly for the past 14 years. Though the main seasonal shopping rush starts at the end of this week, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, early crowds have already convinced retailers that consumers will prolong their surprising buying spree through the holidays. "Nobody kills Santa Claus," says President Bruce Gimbel of Manhattan-based Gimbel Bros., "and I don't think that the income surtax...

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