RETAIL TRADE: Break for the Consumer

No one has battled harder to enforce Fair Trade around the U.S. than giant General Electric Co., which gets an estimated 35% of its $4 billion annual sales from its consumer products. Last week G.E. threw in the sponge. To dealers and distributors went a letter canceling Fair Trade contracts on the company's prices. Said G.E.: "We have abandoned our policy because we have found it inoperable." Within three days, half a dozen other diehard Fair Traders, including Sunbeam Corp., McGraw-Edison Co. (Toastmaster), Ronson Corp., and Schick Inc., followed G.E.'s lead, dealing the hardest blow yet to the list...

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