--War fears and other concerns have not hit the index hard--

Charleston, SC February 1, 2003 – The Furniture Buying Index is down by one more point this month. This downward shift does not have major consequences since it still remains well above the 70-point mark, indicating very strong furniture sales.

Britt Beemer, Chairman of America’s Research Group, said, “war fears and other concerns have not hit the index and it still remains strong. It is sixteen points above the 70 point mark, and that is a good sign.” Mr. Beemer indicated that even though the index has dropped a point the past two months, furniture shopping is still very much in the minds of American consumers.

Beemer concluded that, “in spite of these distractions about war and the economy, the strong index bodes well for furniture retailers to have strong President’s Day weekend 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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