--Consumer interest in home furnishings drops slightly--

Charleston, SC January 1, 2005 – The Furniture Buying Index falls slightly this month to a reading of 86. The drop in the index indicates that consumers are slightly less interested in home furnishings.

Britt Beemer, Chairman of America’s Research Group, said, “The Furniture Buying Index drop of two points this month is due largely to consumer interest shift.” Beemer continued, “After Christmas consumers shifted their interests away from buying furniture because of the 50% off after Christmas sales in retail.”

Beemer added, “The big question will be if the Furniture Buying Index can bounce back. The challenge for furniture retailers will be getting consumers back for a good President’s Day sales.”

The Furniture Buying Index is compiled each month by America's Research Group from interviews with 5,000-8,000 consumers across the country. In a typical month, 80 percent of the consumers interviewed can name a specific furniture item they intend to buy. The Index's mark signifies what percent of the benchmark 80% actually have a particular item in mind.

Britt Beemer is chairman of America's Research Group, a full-service consumer behavior research company based in Charleston, SC. ARG provides research and strategic planning services to leading manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods across North America.

For more information call:
C. Britt Beemer

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