RUSSIA: But Nobody Outsells G.U.M.

Inside the huge store, the crowd was so thick that the militia stood by to keep order. Peasants in tanned-sheepskin coats and felt boots, city matrons in mouton-collared coats stared in awe at yard upon gleaming yard of silks and satins produced by Soviet textile plants. In the 36 years of Communist rule, they had never seen anything like it.

The big textile sale at G.U.M., Moscow's massive principal department store, was the flashiest display yet in the new Soviet campaign to bolster morale at home with consumer goods long denied by the bleak succession of five-year plans. G.U.M. has...

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