Retailing: More for More

U.S. consumers, spending $31 billion in December, set another Christmas shopping record. That was hardly a surprise; a record has been set and broken routinely for the past 15 years. What has surprised the nation's merchants is how strongly consumers continued to step up their spending all through 1965 —and how clear the signs are that they intend to go right on doing so into 1966. "This is the consumption economy," says Fred Lazarus Jr., chairman of the 83-branch Federated Stores chain. "It's a retailer's dream come true."

Early surveys indicate at least another 5% rise in consumer...

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