Macy’s vs Gimbels - Wartime Wagers
In the late 1930s Gimbels makes a risky bet by stockpiling goods likely to be scarce in wartime. They also snap up their rival’s star copywriter, who does the best work of her career at their shop. Their savvy planning and advertising strength position them well for the post-war period, when Americans open their wallets wide. But the lifting of Depression era regulations governing retail leads to a series of price wars between all the department stores. None is as extreme as the one between Macy’s and Gimbels, which ends in mayhem, and sometimes, violence. The price wars force Macy’s to choose between honoring a sacred, century-old discount policy, or risk ending the year in the red for the first time in company history.
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