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Williams-Sonoma, Epicurious.com in E-Commerce Deal

Home-centered specialty retailer Williams-Sonoma signed an e-commerce alliance with CondeNet's Epicurious.com, a food destination online and home of Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines.

Epicurious visitors will have one-click access to Williams-Sonoma products related to Epicurious content and recipes. The companies will split revenues received from joint sales; other financial arrangements were not disclosed.

"Our goal is to offer the ultimate in customer service," said Pat Connolly, executive vice president and general manager of Williams-Sonoma's catalog division. "Our alliance with Epicurious not only provides cooking enthusiasts access to excellent content but directs them to the best cooking and casual entertaining merchandise as well. We view this as the first step in a larger relationship with CondeNet."

Williams-Sonoma just last week launched a bridal and gift registry Web site, integrated with its retail and catalog channels.

"Conde Nast and CondeNet are in the business of creating demand. Now we can help our consumers satisfy that demand, thanks to this alliance between Williams-Sonoma and Epicurious. In the coming months, we will be executing this strategy of closing the loop for consumers -- from creating demand to fulfilling demand-with an integration of content and commerce in all areas where we serve our high-demographic, largely female audience," said CondeNet Director Sarah Chubb.

On the Epicurious site, Williams-Sonoma will handle all merchandising, fulfillment and commerce customer service, while CondeNet retains control over all content.

Williams-Sonoma has more than 300 retail stores and sends out five mail order catalogs (Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Hold Everything and Chambers).