Retailing: Demand for Discounters

Accepting the dictum that ''if you can't lick 'em. join 'em," old-line retailers are turning into discounters themselves. Discount sellers, who operate with a markup of 19% to 24% (v. 39% in department stores) have already captured nearly one-third of the nation's department store trade; and FORTUNE predicts this week that their sales in 1962 may well rise another 50%, to $7 billion. Two of the biggest U.S. department store chains—May and Allied—have branched into discounting. So have food chains such as Grand Union and Kroger, and five-and-dimers such as Woolworth and Kresge.

Into the ranks of the discounters last...

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