Retailing: Magnin's Moves East

San Francisco's I. Magnin & Co. literally goes to great lengths to please women who are partial to its high fashion and unperturbed about the tall prices that go with it. For favored customers who are far from its 21 stores in the West, Magnin offers to fly a fitter, a salesperson and a collection of the latest styles anywhere in the U.S., free of charge. Such excursions often produce orders of $25,000.

Before long, many of those trips will not be necessary: the 93-year-old specialty chain plans to go East. Negotiations are...

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