Japan: The Great Barber-Chair Coup

With money short and hairstyles increasingly long, many men are taking their time between haircuts. Barbers in some cities report that their business has been clipped by 25% to 50%. But even the barbers' woes seem small when measured against those of the manufacturers of barber chairs. For many years they had a cozy industry; several domestic firms earned a steady profit by selling about 10,000 chairs a year to the U.S.'s 100,000 barbershops. Then in 1957, Osaka's Takara Belmont Co. slipped into the U.S. and began a classic Japanese takeover.

Takara...

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