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DANBURY, CT-Furniture retailer and manufacturer Ethan Allen Interiors will kick off a regional advertising campaign this fall to redefine its image in a bid to enhance its market share in the increasingly competitive retail segment, the company said.

The regional marketing effort, a first for the furniture chain, will be complimented by national television advertising and a major print effort designed to bring customers into Ethan Allen stores, Farooq Kathwari, the company’s chairman and CEO told investors and analysts here at Tuesday’s Ethan Allen Investors Conference.

“We are getting the message across about the new, redefined Ethan Allen,” Kathwari said.

The Danbury, CT-based company said it will counter increasingly strong competition from big-box chains with a television, newspaper and advertising campaign that will highlight Ethan Allen’s classic styles, quick delivery and six month zero interest financing as it moves to redefine and upgrade its image.

A strong consumer response to initiatives put in place after the end of its fourth quarter on June 30 helped push wholesale and retail orders up 10% in July and August, the company said, adding that the trend expected to continue throughout the rest of the year.

The upscale furniture maker and seller implemented several changes last year that it hoped would boost traffic and sales at its stores, including an everyday low pricing strategy that eliminated sales promotions.

Kathwari said the company, which has changed 70% of its product line over the past three years, also plans to relocate several of its existing stores and open 21 stores, six of them overseas, in fiscal 2005 with an additional 22 store openings scheduled for fiscal 2006.

The company currently operates more than 300 stores and has its own state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. In 2004, its sales were $955.1 million, up more than $55 million from the previous year when it logged $907.3 million. Net income for last year was $80 million, up $5 million over the same period a year earlier, the company said.

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