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Howard Israel creates consulting service

BOSTON — Veteran home furnishings retailer Howard Israel has formed Howard Israel Associates (HIA), a consulting service for retailers and manufacturers.

Israel, whose home furnishings career began as a buyer for Filene's Basement, based here, and later started Leejay Bed & Bath, a specialty chain that over three decades grew to more than 50 stores with revenues of more than $100 million. Leejay was one of the first specialty chains to do direct importing. Later, Israel opened SoftHome, a specialty retailer of home textiles. Both Leejay and SoftHome are no longer in business.

Howard Israel Associates specializes in global sourcing, vendor partnerships, brand management, special projects, merchandising and retailing. Currently HIA is consulting with an e-tailer in establishing relationships with brand suppliers.

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