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Ethan Allen Moves Online

Furniture seller Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. yesterdaydetailed plans to take its national retail business online.

The company's new business-to-consumer E-commerce initiative, to be known as ethanallen.com, is scheduled to launch in September. With the addition of Web-based retailing, the company becomes the latest in a series of brick-and-mortar businesses to offer customers online shopping. (See "E-business: What's The Model?)

Ethan Allen will use the Internet to sell more than 5,000 products, including its high-end furniture and accessories. The company is determined to preserve its culture of high- touch customer service by providing links to local designers and its more than 300 nationwide retailers.

To deliver its products to customers buying over the Web, the company will use its network of more than 100 retail distribution centers across the country.

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