Yes, we have a similar setup here in NC: state Alcoholic Beverage Commissions are the only sellers of hard liquor (though not beer and wine). But as you mentioned in an earlier Digest, the repeal of Prohibition gave states special and unique constitutional powers with respect to alcohol.
I'm having a little trouble thinking of reactor by-products as retail items that would be bought by consumers :-). I was thinking more along the lines of the experience my wife's East German-born sister-in-law (who unfortunately passed away two weeks ago) had when she escaped the iron curtain in the early 1980s and first encountered a West German retail store, with its exhilarating but confusing array of choices, so very different from the limited selection of crappy products available in the state-run retail outlets of East Germany.
I think you missed my point. They could have chosen to divest the entire regulated railroad business instead (in the way that AT&T chose to give up the local telco business in the early 1980s), leaving the now-separate rump company to concentrate exclusively on rail while the new successor company (which would have purchased the non-rail assets) chased the newer markets. Instead, the execs chose to stay with the rump themselves. They bet on the wrong pony. Of course, sometimes the ho-hum legacy business turns out to be the winning horse after all. It now looks like that's what happened with AT&T; the Baby Bells seem to have been the winning choice there, while AT&T's grandiose plans to make money in the computer business came to naught (twice!).
I think the main issue here is that demand for men's suits has been gradually declining for a few decades. Not quite buggy-whip status (yet), but casual clothing is far more prevalent in the workplace than it was in the 1950s or 1960s. I've never heard of Today's Man, but perhaps the competition from the likes of Men's Wearhouse was too much for them in the overall slow-growing (or even shrinking) market for men's suits.
TELECOM Digest Editor noted in response to Henry:
Our esteemed Editor is correct, according toThe Merchandise Mart was a spinoff of Marshall Field's. See
Bob Goudreau Cary, NC