Business: How to Stop a War

Faced with a price war in Portland, Ore., the Safeway chain last week hit upon a surefire way to fight competitors selling coffee and cigarettes at cut rates. "Does your P.T.A., church, lodge, club, or charity need money for Christmas?" asked Safeway in five-column newspaper ads. "Here is your chance to make easy money." Safeway offered to pay $1.57 a carton for cigarettes, which could be bought at $1.45 at price-cutting stores, and 83¢ a Ib. for coffee, which the price cutters sold for 69¢.

After the 45 Safeway stores in the Portland area...

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