Service With A What?

Foreigners are raising the standards of efficiency

Last August, U.S. mail-order merchant Lands' End Inc. did the unthinkable in Germany. Launching its subsidiary, the company announced that dissatisfied customers could return merchandise with no time limit and no questions asked. Americans take such privileges for granted, but in Germany, most retailers forbid returns after 10 days. German shoppers responded enthusiastically, and sporty catalog items quickly sold out. To keep up with demand, Lands' End has doubled its German workforce, to 110 people, in a year.

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