--Increases in monthly heating bills puts unnecessary purchases on the back burner--

Charleston, SC March 1, 2001 - --- The Furniture Buying Index declines yet another 3 points, resulting in a reading of 71 for this month. Keep in mind this is the third month that a drop has been recorded in the Index.

"Consumers tell us that the next two major purchases they will make are a major appliance item because the one in their home is badly in need of replacing or cannot be fixed any longer or a set of four new tires" cites Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group. "A furniture purchase is a luxury of which consumers can postpone."
Mr. Beemer concludes, "The Index barely hovering over the 70 point level is critically important, because if it falls below 70, furniture retail promotions are in big trouble."

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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