The Economy: Dividends from the Drop

"We don't like recessions," says Francis Rooney, president of Melville Shoe Corp., "but we also know how much they help our business." This spring Rooney's company, which sells a low-price line through its Thom McAn and Meldisco divisions, was helped to a 20% increase in sales over the same period in 1969. Rooney's case is not unusual. Adversity has always smiled on a lucky few, and the present economic downturn that is bringing travail to many companies is pure serendipity for others.

Growing bands of consumers in search of bargains are pushing up...

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