I thought I'd give everyone a heads-up on our online store that launched this morning. Why we launched the store. For years we resisted online sales because of the following reasons: We didn't want to undermine our work with distributors. We didn't want to compete with contractors. We didn't want homeowners doing poor installations. We finally decided that an online store was needed because: Although we have hundreds of distributors, there are large regions that are not served. There are many determined DIY'ers who will not hire a contractor and want an easy way to get our products. Many homeowners are frustrated by having no convenient place to purchase replacement lamps. Some of our distributors have their own online stores, so it's no secret what our products cost to the homeowner. Our online solution addresses most of the objections contractors and distributors might have. All online orders go to an order exhange that makes these orders available to all our distributors. Distributors in the near vicinity automatically get the order if they have the product in stock. Visitors to the store are strongly encouraged to hire a professional to design and install their projects. They are given this message on every page, and reminded again just before they check out. We expect many will browse the store and decide not to buy, instead they'll look for a designer. Prices are set at our MAP (minimimum advertised price) which is 20% below retail. We are also enforcing the MAP on everyone who sells our products online. Contractors who live in regions unserved by our distributors may qualify for preferred pricing through the store. Contact Bruce if you're in this category. Since our products are not cheap, we don't expect a lot of online sales (except maybe for lamps). We do expect, however, that the existance of the store will increase our online visibility and lead to more referrals to CAST-trained designers. Your comments and feedback are welcome.