How much does a good quality sofa cost?

juliekcmoJuly 23, 2011

I am in the planning stages for a redo of the living room. House built in the 1930s, and we will have our large TV in this room too. So I am working on layout, furniture plan, and budget right now.

The sofa we have now is about 5 years old, cost about $1000, and frankly has held up terribly. It had major "butt divit" after about a year, and continues to get more and more sunken.The fabric has not been an issue with this sofa (or any other sofa we have had in the past)

My 2 kids are now in college and I would like to really get a sofa that can last for a while, and have the room better planned as to better layout, and get what I want for the entire room to function better.

So I am working on planning and budgeting. So how much do you need to spend and what brands can people recommend for a sofa that will hold up to TV viewing/lounging, and reading?

And any opinions on layout of TV placement in a living room are welcome too. Thanks

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We have a Henredon sofa that is 4 years old and still looks brand new. Cost was over $3K, but the fabric will last until I am sick of seeing it, the cushions even longer and the frame a lifetime.

Our first LR sofa was by Sherrill (purchased in 1990). We used the LR daily. It was $1K, and we had it until we moved here in 2005. It had been recovered once, and needed to be again (sun faded) but there was nothing wrong with the cushions or frame. It was just too small in scale for our great room.

Would you consider leather instead of fabric since kids are involved? Easier to clean. Or a good grade micro-suede would work too. DD2 has a sofa purchased on sale at Macy's..linked below. She's had it almost 2 years. No butt imprints. She has spot cleaned it one time with the cleaning kit it came with. $1300 We were told it's by the same company that makes sofas for C&B or PB. Don't recall which it was. She's been happy with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Macy's Dial Sofa

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 8:34PM
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I had a similar experience with my Sherrill sofa I owned for 18 years with it's original upholstery. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it and it was my main seating at one point. I bought mine in the 80's and paid about $750.

The Sherrill was preceeded by my Calico Corner kidney shaped sofa that I just had reupholstered after 10 years. There was nothing wrong with the upholstery. Just wanted to update it. Calico is pricey but their furnishings are excellent quality.

So now you have three manufacturers to research:Henredon, Sherrill, and Calico Corners. I have not experience with this brand but I hear Lee Industries also makes good quality sofa's.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 9:41PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I have a Southern sofa that has held up extremely well over the past ten years. I will recover it some day. I also have a Wesley Hall that is a great sofa and would get another.
In the past, I had a Rowe sofa that looked great after ten years too.
I think they're all roughly in the two thousand plus range depending on cushions, style, fabric choice, etc.
Maybe lower if you get a good deal.
Most sofas manufacturers have numerous choices in types of cushioning along with fabric, of course.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 11:09PM
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I spent a LOT of time shopping for a sofa last year, as TWO had worn out way too fast.
But the one in my formal LR was still in great shape after 17 years???

My impression is made in America = quality, it's all the ones imported from China that fell apart quickly.
Unfortunately they are all over [in most stores] now. Used to be Made in America was reasonable,
but many manufacturers, like the one that made my LR couch, are gone. The smaller pool of good hand-tied construction is now quite a bit more than the imports. Around $3K.

That being said, I agree that leather in general holds up better than fabric, so you can go a bit less there.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 12:00AM
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I am looking at some mid-range sofas. I really like the look of the retro-inspired ones from Macy's, but I'm very concerned about durability since they are made in China. I've read some not-so-good reviews about Crate & Barrel Petrie as far as durability is concerned.

I have queen sleeper sofa that I bought out of grad school for less than $500 at a tent/overstock sale, and it has held up amazingly well, but is actually is American made. It's slipcovered now. This sofa owes me nothing, but it's time for it to go.

The ones I'm looking at now are the Kathy Ireland Omnia collection leather (DH feels it's too risky with the cats, though), and the Lexington Bennett. Both are Amercian made here in NC, so that is important, and both cost around $1600. I've had Lexington BR pieces for about 10 years now, and I'm very happy with them. Very solid.

Also read about this one manufacturer on RetroRenovation, Younger Furniture, that is also American made. There are some dealers in our area.

Here is a link that might be useful: Retro Renovation link

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 8:55AM
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Thanks for the feedback.

We will want fabric, not leather. Our adjacent 4 season porch has leather, and is more casual. Kids are out of the house, so we don't need to worry about that.

I have done some preliminary shopping and have liked what I found at Ethan Allen as far as comfort and options, The sofa I liked was about 2K. They are made in USA. What is the opinion of their quality as to holding up?

(have ruled out Thomasville and Crate and Barrel, as DD and I felt the quality was just not there, even though their prices were about the same as Ethan Allen) DD is my shopping buddy. Luckily for me goes to college nearby.

I had also heard that made in China can be a problem.

We are not rolling in cash, (2 kids in college-- LOL) so I want to find the best value and to frankly have a realistic plan before starting. If that means saving up some more before we start then I am good with that.

I also have a DH who doesn't like shopping and looking at every option. I LOVE to do this. So I will need to do the legwork first, and then just bring him along for the "this one or that one" trip.

So because of that am also trying to find smaller stores that offer service. DH understands that you pay for this service, and he is OK with this.

We live in a town with a very very huge furniture mart, and it is swimming with too many options, most all of which are too low in quality to be of interest. But because it is too overstimulating for DH, when we shop there, DH wants to select, and leave. (Which is why we have the current butt divit sofa)

So any other manufacturers to recommend? I will take a look and see where I can find Lexington and Henredon locally. Part of the issue in my location is the very very large furniture mart has put price pressure on many local stores having them lower their quality of offerings or go out of business altogether. Leading to a market with 2 options: low quality/low price and high quality/price. I would like to find the Honda. Not sure if I can.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:27AM
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i love our hancock and moore sectional---it's leather but they upholster with cloth too...

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 12:42PM
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We have a Sherrill sofa and loveseat and nhonestly I have never liked it. I'm sure the frame would last forever and the fabric has held up really well but I have been very dissappointed in the cushion. They never, from day one, held their shapes. They may be b/c we "upgraded" to down cushion and foam may hold up better. Just FYI.

My SIL has an ethan allen sofa and it has held up very well. I have an uphosltered bed from there-just got it last summer but it is very nice and the quality is excellent. They often have sales- so you would choose what you like and wait for a sale.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 1:10PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

"So any other manufacturers to recommend? I will take a look and see where I can find Lexington and Henredon locally."

So, why aren't you also looking at Wesley Hall and Southern?
Both are made in USA and have extensive websites. I think you mentioned Henredon and Lexington because you have heard of them before but you need to educate yourself and expand your options. I would look at Highland House and Hancock and Moore, Bradington Young, and Hickory White too. There's lots more and Google will give you quite a few back threads from here too on the same topic.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 2:09PM
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I purchased an Ethan Allen sofa 26 years ago, which my DD now has. We had it reupholstered after about 10 years later,(original choice of fabric did not hold up to active lifestyle) and again a couple of years ago when I gave it to my DD. It looks brand new, no dents or sags!
At one time all of Ethan Allen's furniture was manufactured in the USA. I still have a 40 year old overstuffed, swivel rocker from Ethan Allen. It has been reupholstered a couple of times and still looks great. The same goes for the case goods I purchased during the 1970's and 80's.
The furniture has taken quite a beating with numerous military moves (domestic and overseas), four kids, dog, cats etc.
I don't know if Ethan Allen has gone the way of many other furniture makers, now manufacturing in China.
You can search online for information on what to look for in quality made furniture, since the quality is in the frame and fillings which is unseen on the finished product.
The choice of fabric has a bearing on the cost, also!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 2:14PM
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Thanks I will see if those brands you mentioned are available locally as well.

It is very important to me to be able to sit on a sofa before I buy it. I don't care about lead time for custom order, but do want to be sure of the sofa being comfortable to me before I order.

With the very very large furniture mart in my city, a lot of the smaller store that used to carry those nicer brands have gone out of business.


I have family members who have used Ethan Allen in the past, but I wasn't sure either about their current quality. Their literature says that they are upholstered in USA, but I don't really know if current quality = quality of the past.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 5:59PM
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I agree you have to sit on the furniture before you buy it.
It's hard to know how they are going to hold up. Do some googling on reviews etc. I read a bunch of threads here on the topic.
I settled for some I could sit in that seemed to be ok review -wise from a co. called england. They are nice and new so I can't say how they are going to do in 20 years. The sales staff was good and the store has a long standing reputation ( knies)
I also bought some cheap stuff in the SAME fabric from another town in another state. It matches perfectly. That was at slumberland, and they don't sell england.
I'm a fan of microsuede for the easy clean and warm softness. These days they call it microfiber and it has more varied looks, but that's what I ordered.

What appeals to my teens most? The chaise lounge and the wheeled ottoman. On the later so they can propel themselves around on on their bellies! Too funny.! What do I prefer? The chaise lounge, or the recliner.

Have fun shopping. I did.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 6:31PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I reread what I wrote I 'm so sorry I sounded snarky. I didn't mean that at all. I hope you find something that works for you.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 7:09PM
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After much research we went to a local store that sold Harden furniture (one of the brands I heard about on this board). While none of them worked for us, I fell in love with another couch made by American Leather. It was in leather, but we were looking for fabric. We were thrilled to find that they also use Ultrasuede- the most amazing microsuede. Super durable, cleanable, will not fade,etc.
This is the most comfortable couch we could imagine and 4 years after constant use it looks brand new.
We choked spending over $3K on a sofa, but every time we sit on it we are so happy that we did. Our last couch at $1K lasted barely 5 years.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:02PM
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My La-z-boy sofa is about 17 YO and I've been happy with it. Structurally very sound, the fabric is almost pristine, the cushions have only the slightest bit of sag. It was less than $1000 for the sofa and two chairs. But things have changed furniture quality/pricing-wise during the past few years I so don't know if current offerings would be of similar quality.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:42PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I've found that "good quality" has a lower threshold of about 3k on sale. The upper limit has no boundaries. Upholstered in America is NOT the same thing as Made in America. Yes, the upholstery is important, but the frame and springs are more important. They're the invisible parts that makes a 20 year sofa a 20 year sofa and not a 5 year sofa.

I have several 50 year old mod 60's pieces that are still going strong. Some of the fabric is now "cool" again too! I'd sure hate to have paid original cost on them at the time, but I'm glad I snapped them up used. Maybe if the budget is tight, you can keep an eye on Craigslist and find a bargain. All cash talks. My sister fouond a Hancock & Moore leather sofa in pristine condition on there for $900. There are those occasional bargains there, and if you find a good quality piece, you can probably buy it and have it reupholstered for less than new.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:49AM
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I'm using my mother's Henredon...which she bought new in 1970. She had it re-upholsterd once, And I've had it done once. It could stand to be re-upholstered again...

Hickory Chair is supposed to do good work. And there stuff is made in NC.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 8:37AM
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I have a Broyhill Premier quality (not the regular) that is 22 years old. It sits like a dream, it has been recovered once. The thing is, like most everything these days you do NOT get what you pay for anymore. Everything is imported. Let's say it says made in the USA well, chances are the fabric or springs, parts, foam were still imported from China. To this end that is why car plants are now called "assembly" plants because although they are put together here in some cases over 50 percent of the parts are made in Mexico or some other third world country. Even things like bras that are assembled here were first started in China where the fabric was made and they were cut out. Then shipped to the states to be sewn together. It blows my mind....that is why we have homeless people, entry level and non-skilled laborers are no longer needed in the states and thus they have NOTHING to do or anywhere to get a job. Not everyone is white collar job material. Moral to story be sure of what you are buying these days because my 22 year old sofa is probably not the same quality today even if it has the same name.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:59PM
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P.S. I have two Ethan Allen recliners that are of very good quality. I have had them for about four years. They are holding up very well and really take a beating with us sitting in them every day for, hate to admit this, hours sometimes...yikes that looks really bad in print!!! I would stay away from Lazy Boy, it looks good these days but does not hold up. Same story, they went cheap some years ago. I had to replace both of the Lazy Boy chairs I bought in just a couple of years. They were once a great product but no more.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 1:13PM
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I can only tell you that our sofa has held up DH, to the grandgirls, to everything. Good support in the springs, good quality fabric. It's Massoud. I paid $1400 for it back in 2002.

Here is a link that might be useful: Massoud

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 1:17PM
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gr8day - that's what I've heard about Lazyboy. I have a sofa and chair from them we bought approximately 13 years ago. It has held up great - the cushions are only now starting to wear a little (foam/shape not fabric). I am going to have to start looking (dread it!). I thought about recovering but that is pretty pricey - not sure if I want to put that $$$ into a 13 yr. old sofa. The color/fabric is looking dated.

To the OP - are you anywhere near NC? My sister and her husband recently bought a second home as he took a job in NC. They have been finding some GREAT deals nearby. When I do start looking I may compare prices here and there.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 1:32PM
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LOVE Stickley... my living room couch looks brand new and it gets used plenty.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 2:55PM
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I have 3 Harden sofas( 1 leather 2 fabric)that I absolutely love..of course, I live very near the factory and they have a yearly sale with up to 80% off on furniture and the fabric and trims start at $3.00 per yard.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 4:53PM
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I have an Ethan Allen sofa that I bought second-hand about 45 years ago. It was fairly new at the time but the original owner had a puppy who had torn the linen cover to shreds. We were on a very limited budget at the time so I re-upholstered it myself (using a guide from the library and just taking the cover apart step by step and putting it back together the same way). It has been re-upholstered professionally twice since because I have always liked the comfort of its high back. The cover is still in good shape from the last job, but some of the springs are shot so we are replacing it with a sofa from C&B. (We already have a sectional from C&B in the family room in the same Oxford line and have been happy with it though I know I will miss the high back on my living room sofa.)

As to Lazy-Boy, I have not been at all impressed with their quality. I have never had it myself, but both my mother and MIL did, as did my sister and her husband. That said, probably Ethan Allen sofas are not as well made as they were 45 years ago either. Buying upholstered furniture is harder than buying wood tables, chairs, etc. because with wood things I can stick to antiques or semi-antiques and know more what I have and whether it will last. My dining room Windsors and my shaker chairs ought to with-stand my little grandsons since they've lasted well over 100 years! LOL

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 5:13PM
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Another vote for American Leather's ultrasuede sofas. We bought one for our beach house several years ago and loved it so much, just bought one for our "real" house. Expect to pay $2000-3000.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 9:02PM
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I just purchased a Highland House sofa last year, fabric, and am very pleased with it. It's got the kiln-dried wood frame, and 8-way hand tied springs. Got it for about $1600 from a company in SC I've used before (I'm in WA). Same sofa was quoted for $2500 locally. So the price really depends on where you get it! If you enjoy the shopping, figure out what level of quality you want first, find the associated manufacturers, and then find stores that carry those brands. You can then call various furniture stores in NC and SC and get price quotes from them. I saved 45% on my living room furniture doing that. I also looked at Ethan Allen and their quality was not nearly as good as Highland House.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 1:46AM
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Kathy738p - there is a harden factory outlet in NY? Where is it? How do you find out about the sales? I think it would be worth the schlep across the river for something like that! ;)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 9:34AM
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Shoot I missed it. I found the info though, thanks Kathy.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 9:44AM
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What does everyone think about the Pottery Barn sofas? I'm also in the market for new living room furniture.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 9:58AM
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We recently bought a Palliser in their "fabric" choice of Phoenix. It feels like the softest leather but is actually fabric (is not a shiny look). It cleans well and looks great. It does not make butt prints like the ultrasuedes did. We did not want one that showed where everyone sat.

It seems to be very well made, but we have only had it a month or so. It was more expensive locally, where we first learned all about Palliser and their leather alternative. We found it at for under $2k (delivered and fully set up with the legs).
Ours is a retro modern looking sectional, the Venus model. Their sofas were even cheaper. There are many style and color choices, so you can order exactly what you want. We are very happy with ours. It was nicer in person than we even expected. I had seen a different configuration in the store and in a different color. We went with Anthracite, which is a very deep charcoal gray and it worked perfectly in our room. I had hoped it would not be too black and it isn't.
Our sons had almost immediately applied sunscreen while seated on the couch and a little stain spray on a wet sponge got it off. Nothing like seeing white greasy marks on a new piece of dark furniture, but it came off and you'd never know now. They don't do the sunscreen while on it any more, but I have gotten off other messes in the meantime, and it looks like new after.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 12:02PM
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My custom Ethan Allen two years old has been awful.

SIL s two Lee sofas 16 yrs old are fabulous

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 4:28PM
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The Harden factory is in McConnelsville NY which is about 45 min from Syracuse the sale is in the early part of May and the deals are wonderful, you can even go the night before it's open to the public if you know a Harden employee and they get an extra 10% discount.
In addition to the finished furniture you can buy raw frames and misc pieces and legs and scratch and dent.
Raw sofa frames were going for $10.00 and you can buy foam for cushions and basically build your own sofas.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 5:22PM
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dianalo, that sectional is really cool!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 5:52PM
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Kathie - I am about 25 miles north of Syracuse and have never been to the Harden factory. Why? Who the heck knows. Maybe because my parents had a Harden dining set and I didn't like it. Just wasn't my style. I need to make the drive and check out the factory. We are really fortunate to have both Harden and Stickley in close proximity!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 7:47PM
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Don't know who makes Pottery Barn's upholstery now, but our PB sofa from the mid-1990s (needs all new cushions and pillows) was made by Hiatt Furniture from California. I think I found this out from PB when they had just discontinued our loveseat and I wanted to buy new slipcovers for it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hiatt Furniture

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 9:11PM
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My custom Ethan Allen two years old has been awful.

SIL s two Lee sofas 16 yrs old are fabulous

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:50AM
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Thanks, gsciencechick! It is one of the bright spots in our reno.... Many things did not live up to expectations, but this exceeded ours...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 12:26PM
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Julie, I had the same NFMart experience you did. I was completely overwhelmed by the store and DH ended up talking me into a soft Broyhill. DH..."Why are we here if were not going to buy anything?" After 4yrs the wood frame squeaks and it's so uncomfortable I'm always changing sitting positions.

Have you been to Crowley Furniture in OP? I think they carry mid-line sofas but their service is excellent. The two sales people that helped me were decorators. It was great to bounce ideas off them, as well as get help with the multitude of fabric choices.

If you're adventurous you could try T. Ormans. They advertise high end furniture at wholesale prices. Another overwhelming place for me. Tons of furniture spread out over a 70,000 sq ft building. I think you really have to know what you want before you go. They're only open Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays.

I do think I'll visit NFM again. Next time I'll go during the week and be armed with a list of brands worthy to look at. I remember the back of the store had an area of higher quality furniture that wasn't prowled by hungry salespeople. Also, every time I try to find a dealer for one of the above mentioned brands it comes back as being carried by NFM.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:25PM
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We have a Harden, covered with a Harden microfiber. I think the style would be considered transitional. I don't remember when we bought it -- maybe 6 years ago -- but it looks and feels as good as on its first day in the house, and it cleans like a dream. We paid somewhere between $2500 - $3000 for it; probably closer to the lower figure.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:57PM
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We just bought new LR furniture. Our couch and chair are Southern Motion Lay Flat Reclining Sofa and Chair. Made in the USA.

We went with this brand on my sister's recommendation. She has 3 adult kids, 2 grandkids, 90 year old mother in law, herself, her husband and 2 big labs living in her house. They bought their set 3 years ago and it looks brand new.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:18AM
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