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Chicago: City of the Century
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Do You Know Chicago?
Decades of Immigrants
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Made in Chicago: "the customer is always right" previous 10 of 18 next


'the customer is always right' Potter Palmer did the unthinkable when he instituted "the Palmer system." He guaranteed his customers a full cash refund on any purchase they found unsatisfactory -- no questions asked. By designing his successful dry goods business to appeal to women, treating them to lavish attention and courtesy, and providing free home delivery, he changed the retail business in America. When "Palmer's Palace" opened on State Street in 1868, carriages lined the streets for blocks, as Chicago's affluent citizens turned out to see the expensive and exotic merchandise. His innovative practices had turned shopping from a chore to a pastime.

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