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Bic was hip, but then the world, and investors, moved on

INTERNATIONAL - Smoking rates have been falling for decades, smartphones and tablets are replacing pen and paper, and beards are all the rage. It’s no wonder investors have turned their backs on Societe Bic SA. Shares in the French maker of lighters, pens and razors have slumped 40 percent from their 2015 peak. The family-controlled company that built a global brand in the 1960s and 1970s with brightly colored products and kicky marketing now is struggling to catch up with rivals that have embraced online sales and shifting consumer trends.
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