RETAILING: Fur Flies Again

Not too long ago, the furrier was one of U.S. retailing's most endangered species. Badgered by conservationists, women began passing up their cherished minks, muskrats and marmots, settling instead for fake furs—or none at all. Then came the recession, and buyers began to balk at purchasing coats—no matter what they were made of—that had three-and four-figure price tags. Fur sales in specialty shops and department stores across the U.S. plunged, and many firms went out of business altogether. In just two years, nearly half of the 2,000 fur wholesalers and suppliers clustered in Manhattan's garment district, the center of...

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