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Thomasville Accelerating Retail Strategy With Marketing Initiatives

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Furniture Brands International announced that its Thomasville brand is accelerating its retail strategy with increased marketing, publicity and internet initiatives as well as the launch of a new collection -- Darryl Carter for Thomasville. Thomasville kicked off a successful Labor Day weekend with a TV ad series highlighting the brand's nationwide sale. The TV campaign is part of a national TV and print advertising campaign that directs more of the brand's advertising budget to "working media" that will build consumer awareness of Thomasville's styles and brand image. The campaign is scheduled to run through the second half of 2008 and into early 2009, effectively building the Thomasville brand. Thomasville continues to enrich the content of its website in order to help furniture shoppers make smart decisions. Recent enhancements to www.thomasville.com include next-generation room planning software and a customizable fabric draping program for selected upholstery collections. This improved functionality lets Thomasville shoppers do better research during the purchasing process, resulting in more store traffic of informed and motivated consumers. Thomasville is also building the power of its brand through targeted alliances with value-added designers. The October launch of the Darryl Carter for Thomasville collection is the latest example of this strategy, with coordinated wood, upholstery and accessory products for the entire home. Photos of the entire collection and more information about Darryl Carter for Thomasville are available at www.thomasville.com/Darryl-Carter/. The Darryl Carter for Thomasville collection is prominently featured in the September editions of many of the country's leading shelter and lifestyle publications, including Elle Decor, O Magazine, Southern Accents and Metropolitan Home. The editorial profiles will be supplemented with advertising in these same titles as well as Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, and Country Living. These publications have a collective readership of more than 12 million discerning furniture consumers, and the premier visibility is expected to boost what is an already strong collection. The paid and earned media will complement the visibility created with the late August release of Darryl's book, The New Traditional. "Darryl Carter for Thomasville is the best of both worlds for our customers," said Ed Teplitz, Thomasville president. "His one-of a-kind designer look in upholstered and wood pieces marries well with our traditional heritage. Combined with our legacy of craftsmanship, this new collection takes Thomasville to a new level." Thomasville is also expanding its base of company-owned Thomasville retail stores as part of its strategic plan. Thomasville recently completed the acquisition of 10 Thomasville Home Furnishings stores from Hendricks Furniture Group. The stores are in North Carolina (4), the Atlanta area (4), South Carolina (1), and Destin, FL (1). The company has also reached agreement with Encore Enterprises to acquire six Thomasville stores in the Philadelphia area. Terms of both transactions were not disclosed. With the completion of these acquisitions, Furniture Brands will have a total of 42 company-owned Thomasville stores in 11 key markets. As part of its retail strategy, Furniture Brands anticipates steadily expanding its footprint of Thomasville stores in current and new markets. Furniture Brands will support its fleet of company-owned stores through a new retail management system that provides integrated purchasing, order status and delivery information. This point-of-sale platform will be implemented initially at company-owned Thomasville and Drexel Heritage stores and will be expanded to include independently owned locations. Furniture Brands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ralph P. Scozzafava added, "Thomasville's latest activities are strong examples of our execution of the Furniture Brands strategy. We will build on this momentum at the High Point Market in October, where Furniture Brands will introduce several new lines that incorporate in-depth consumer testing. This rigorous testing process, which Furniture Brands is pioneering in this industry, lets us bring to our retail partners products that have the designs and features that today's consumer wants. Our commitment to consumer research will drive improved financial performance at all Thomasville stores through increased demand, better value, and more efficient inventory metrics. This commitment to drive the success of our dealers and company-owned stores will only increase as we move into 2009." About Furniture Brands: Furniture Brands International (NYSE:FBN) is a vertically integrated operating company that is one of the nation's leading designers, manufacturers, and retailers of home furnishings. It markets through a wide range of retail channels, from mass merchant stores to single-brand and independent dealers to specialized interior designers. Furniture Brands serves its customers through some of the best known and most respected brands in the furniture industry, including Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Pearson, Hickory Chair, Laneventure, and Maitland-Smith.

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