Momma's Legacy

Loehmann's, one of the first bargain retailers and lately one of the fastest growing, does not have customers; it has addicts. Says one shopper, a woman who works for a New York advertising agency: "When I miss a week, I feel as though I've missed out on something. My stomach gets tight and I feel sick." Lauren Bacall, in her autobiography, By Myself, cites Loehmann's nine times or so.

Betty Ford was a devotee. Former Macy's Executive George Greenberg, 60, Loehmann's chairman and president, recalls a woman approaching him and saying: "Coming to Loehmann's...

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